Reuben Foundation Imaging Centre officially opened

The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust can now scan more clinical trial patients after opening the Reuben Foundation Imaging Centre.

07 May 2015

The centre was officially opened on Tuesday 5 May at The Royal Marsden in Chelsea by Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England. 

Thanks to a generous donation by the Reuben Foundation and supporters of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, the centre is equipped with two state-of-the-art MRI scanners - 1.5T and 3T – as well as two CT scanners, one of which is dedicated to interventional procedures. This ensures that the Trust will remain at the forefront of cancer treatment and therapy and continues to pioneer new diagnostic methods. Previously, patients on certain clinical trials had to travel to the hospital’s Sutton site to have an MRI scan.

Cheryl Richardson, Superintendent Radiographer for MRI at The Royal Marsden, said: “With the new MRI scanners in Chelsea, we can now scan more patients, more efficiently using state-of-the-art technology. Both sites have the same model of 1.5T scanner which has greatly improved the service as patients can now choose where they have their scan.”

She added: “The new scanners allow us to see our patients’ cancer in greater clarity than ever before. Clearer images improve our diagnostic ability and allow us to monitor the metabolism of tumours. This allows us to assess if treatments are working, and contribute greatly to our research effort.”

The 3T MRI has twice the field strength of most conventional MRI scanners, allowing the Trust to undertake clinical research studies that would be less effective on the 1.5T MRI.

The Head and Neck Unit is currently running a ‘transfusion’ study on the 3T MRI, which examines the effect of blood transfusion during radiotherapy on the oxygen status of head and neck cancer.

Cheryl said: “The Royal Marsden is pushing boundaries by developing new protocols in collaboration with the manufacturer of the machines. We are one of the few centres in the UK now using the 3T MRI to offer whole body imaging for ovarian, renal and prostate cancer patients.

“We also work very closely with the Radiotherapy Unit, using high definition MRI scans to plan radiotherapy, which means they can avoid as much healthy tissue as possible.”

The Reuben Foundation said: “Our family foundation, which was set up 13 years ago, has always focussed on health, education and community. The support we have given to this important new imaging centre at The Royal Marsden, which will literally help to save many lives, is a perfect example of the work we strive to achieve.  We are very proud to be associated with this excellent initiative.”

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For more information about this or any other news story, contact The Royal Marsden Press Office.