MD Anderson, RaySearch ally to take adaptive radiation therapy mainstream

MD Anderson Cancer Center
MD Anderson Cancer Center (MD Anderson)

MD Anderson Cancer Center has teamed up with medtech firm RaySearch Laboratories to tackle the barriers to widespread use of adaptive radiation therapy. The partners think advanced imaging and software can enable a streamlined, automated workflow suitable for use on a large scale.

Adaptive radiotherapy entails assessing how a patient is reacting to the therapy and tweaking the treatment plan in response. The approach can improve outcomes by ensuring the treatment remains optimized to the shape of the tumor and the patient. Doctors began deploying the approach decades ago and have racked up data on its effectiveness. But the complexity of the model has limited uptake.

MD Anderson thinks technology can simplify the process. Working with RaySearch, the cancer center wants to integrate advanced imaging into treatment planning to better define tumor targets. If that works as hoped, it will become easier to track changes to the tumor over weekslong radiotherapy courses, improving the accuracy and efficacy of the treatment.

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The partners will also work on the process for adjusting the treatment in response to changes to the tumor and patient. The construction of software components is on the agenda, too. Collectively, the partners think the changes will simplify adaptive radiotherapy and thereby facilitate its adoption by sites other than highly specialized cancer centers.

“The goal of this collaboration is to establish a methodology and workflow, clinically tested at MD Anderson, which can be streamlined and automated to enable adaptive radiation therapy on a larger scale,” Caroline Chung, M.D., assistant professor of radiation oncology at MD Anderson, said in a statement.

RaySearch landed a role in the initiative on the strength of its medical technology capabilities and its existing relationship with MD Anderson. The cancer center already uses RaySearch’s oncology information system, RayCare. Now, it will take advantage of a broader swath of RaySearch’s cancer technology capabilities.