MR Linac – revolutionising radiotherapy

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Professor Uwe Oelfke

Finding new ways to improve the accuracy of head and neck cancer treatment so that healthy cells are protected is now at the forefront of research.   As we reported in our Winter newsletter, and work is due to start shortly using the new £10 million MR Linac machine on a pre-clinical head and neck cancer trial.

The major benefit of the new technology is in providing the precision of MRI imaging at the same time as delivering radiotherapy treatment.  This ensures that only cancer cells are targeted, protecting the healthy cells.

Professor Uwe Oelfke is leading this pioneering work, for which Oracle is funding two scientists to work on projects that promise to revolutionise head and neck radiotherapy.   He is the new head of the ICR’s and the Royal Marsden’s joint Department of Physics and is a specialist at targeting radiation at tumours with pinpoint accuracy.

His work in three-dimensional tumour tracking has reached such accuracy that it can even take into account movements of a tumour induced by a patient breathing.

 Professor Oelfke explains: “Consequently radiotherapy patients will experience fewer side effects and have a better quality of life.”