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Pioneering X-ray machine arrives at London hospital

Friday 2nd December 2016
The MR Linac X-ray radiotherapy machine is set to transform cancer treatment at a London hospital. Image: Spotmatik via iStock
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A pioneering new X-ray machine that is set to transform the way images are received and analysed has arrived at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust Hospital in London.

The MR Linac combines the two types of technology it is named after, which means it can generate magnetic resonance images and deliver X-rays at the same time. As a result, the dose of radiotherapy that a patient is receiving can be altered in real time, allowing radiographers and other healthcare professionals to make sure cancer patients are accessing the best possible care for their needs.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan was at the opening of the new machine, which is the first to be able to combine these two technological functions, with doctors believing it will help them to produce more accurate X-ray images to ensure radiotherapy treatment is being targeted in the right place.

This is because they will be able to move between scanning and administering treatment at any time they need to, due to breathing changes or a patient's bladder filling, for example.

Improved targeting of radiotherapy treatment could help to save lives, which would all be thanks to the development of this cutting-edge technology.

Spencer Goodman, professional officer for radiotherapy at the Society of Radiographers, commented: "This is a fantastic addition to the range of modalities radiotherapy has to offer to support and treat patients."Mr Khan added: "It's a great honour to be involved in officially opening the MR Linac radiotherapy system. This truly groundbreaking device is the first of its kind anywhere in the UK and has the potential to transform the care that cancer patients receive."

The MR Linac will be put to use for the first time during the second half of next year, when patients taking part in clinical studies examining cervical, lung, prostate, bowel and bladder cancer will receive treatment from the innovative machine.

Written by Megan Smith

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