The integration of MRI in radiation therapy: Collaboration of radiographers and radiation therapists
The increased utilisation of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in radiation therapy (RT) has led to the implementation of MRI simulators for RT treatment planning and influenced the development of MRI-guided treatment systems. There is extensive literature on the advantages of MRI for tumour volume and organ-at-risk delineation compared to computed tomography. MRI provides both anatomical and functional information for RT treatment planning (RTP) as well as quantitative information to assess tumour response for adaptive treatment. Despite many advantages of MRI in RT, introducing an MRI simulator into a RT department is a challenge. Collaboration between radiographers and radiation therapists is paramount in making the best use of this technology. The cross-disciplinary training of radiographers and radiation therapists alike is an area rarely discussed; however, it is becoming an important requirement due to detailed imaging needs for advanced RT treatment techniques and with the emergence of hybrid treatment systems. This article will discuss the initial experiences of a radiation oncology department in implementing a dedicated MRI simulator for RTP, with a focus on the training required for both radiographer and RT staff. It will also address the future of MRI in RT and the implementation of MRI-guided treatment systems, such as MRI-Linacs, and the role of both radiation therapists and radiographers in this technology.
Rai, R., Kumar, S., Batumalai, V., Elwadia, D., Ohanessian, L., Juresic, E., Cassapi, L., Vinod, S. K., Holloway, L., Keall, P. J. & Liney, G. P. (2017). The integration of MRI in radiation therapy: Collaboration of radiographers and radiation therapists. Journal of Medical Radiation Sciences, 64 61-68.