New tech helps UVA Cancer Center treat tricky tumors

Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 3:15 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - MRI-LINAC, a new technology to fight cancer, is now at the University of Virginia Cancer Center.

Radiation Oncologist Doctor Einsley Janowski says this system is a combination of a tool that treats cancer and one that allows doctors to see where the soft tissue around the tumor is.

“A linear accelerator allows us to treat with therapeutic X-rays to treat cancer, and an MRI imager is going to allow us to see soft tissue delineation,” Dr. Janowski said.

This technology also improves the effectiveness and accuracy of radiation therapy.

“When you combine those two together, it just really allows us to treat things that we may have had difficulty treating before. We can see things much more clearly,” Dr. Janowski said.

Not only does it let doctors see the treatment more clearly, but it also involves the patients.

“This MRI-LINAC, it’s patient-centered. So it allows us to really be escalating our dose so we can be very aggressive with treatment of the tumor, but it also because of that gating aspect it allows our patients to be very involved with their treatment,” Dr. Janowski said.

The tool was installed over the fall and just finished treating its first patient.

“We’re treating abdominal cancers, like pancreatic cancers, HCCs, hepatocellular, carcinomas, lung cancers, and even prostate cancer,” Dr. Janowski said. “It is resource intensive of staff time, patient time, radiation oncologist, therapist physicists’ time.”

That first patient treated with this technology will be coming back for follow up scans to closely monitor how the treatment worked.

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