Philips debuts system to plan prostate cancer radiation treatment using MRI imaging only

Ingenia MR-RT--Courtesy of Philips

Imaging prior to radiotherapy for the treatment of prostate cancer involves combining MRI and CT scan images, a task that can lead to image misalignment and other uncertainties, Royal Philips ($PHG) says. The company today announced the first MRI-only solution in the U.S. for use in planning radiation treatments for prostate cancer.

The devicemaker said in a release that it has received 510(k) clearance to offer the so-called Magnetic Resonance for Calculating Attenuation system on its Ingenia MR-RT imaging platform.

Philips' new imaging approach will support radiation departments that choose to use MRI as their primary imaging modality for prostate cancer treatment planning. The new solution will allow doctors treating patients with prostate cancer to adopt a single-modality imaging approach that provides a high-quality, soft-tissue contrast for target delineation, as well as density information for dose calculations.

"Successful cancer treatment depends on the quality and accuracy of the radiation therapy plan, making imaging a critical piece in determining (the) course of treatment," Dr. Rodney Ellis, vice chairman of radiation oncology at Cleveland's University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, said in a statement. "The real power of MR-only simulation is that it enables us to develop personal treatment plans."

Ellis added that the new process will help streamline workflow that will, in turn, reduce the burden on patients and health care providers. For the company said an MRI-only simulation can help alleviate additional scans and reduce both workflow and provider costs.

More than 27,000 men in the U.S. die each year from prostate cancer, making it the most common cancer among that group, according to the American Cancer Society. About 1 million patients undergo radiotherapy in the U.S. each year, and rely on imaging to help determine a course of treatment, the company said.

In February, BTG ($BTG) and Philips rolled out their FDA-approved LC Bead Lumi that is visible via imaging and can be used during an embolization procedure as well as afterward to monitor that the embolic beads remain in their intended location.

- here's the Philips release