The Royal Marsden

MR Linac on target

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, opened the UK’s first MR Linac in Sutton in November.
L-R: Paul Workman of the ICR, Mayor Sadiq Khan, Dr Nicholas van As and The Royal Marsden's Chief Executive Cally Palmer

L-R: Paul Workman of the ICR, Mayor Sadiq Khan, Dr Nicholas van As and The Royal Marsden's Chief Executive Cally Palmer

Funded by a £10 million grant from the Medical Research Council and The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, this state-of-the-art machine is set to make radiotherapy more effective and reduce its side effects by tailoring the radiation precisely to the patient’s anatomy.

The MR Linac directs radiation to tumours that move during treatment, and generates magnetic resonance images and delivers X-rays simultaneously – so radiotherapy can be adjusted in real time for more accurate and effective delivery than ever before.

Dr Nicholas van As, Medical Director at The Royal Marsden, said: “The MR Linac gives us the opportunity to realise our vision for radiotherapy of the future. Tumours and organs can move and change shape while we deliver radiotherapy, so we have to irradiate a safety margin to ensure that we hit the target every time.”

The Royal Marsden and The Institute of Cancer Research are the first institutions in the UK to install the machine, with the first patients due to be treated in the second half of 2017, initially through clinical studies in hard-to-treat cancer types.

Mr Khan said: “This truly ground-breaking device has the potential to transform the care that cancer patients receive.”

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