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A promising method for Pancreatic Cancer!

Another milestone has been reached for a scary type of cancer!

Technological developments are associated with prolonged survival and boosted quality of life in every aspect of oncology. One of them is pancreatic cancer. Thanks to MR Linac method, a promising progress has been made in pancreatic cancer that progresses very quickly, stays asymptomatic due to its insidious nature and can only be diagnosed at the terminal stage. 

“This is a very exciting development, but we should remember that these are extremely novel technologies. So far, the most important clinical effect was achieved in pancreatic cancer. Literature reports that the success rate of local control raised from 10% to 90%.

In the upcoming years, we will witness its effect also on other tumors, especially the ones that are not eligible for surgical treatment and hard to remove” says Professor of Radiation Oncology Banu Atalar, M.D at Acıbadem Maslak Hospital in Istanbul Turkey, and adds that the revolutionary MR Linac method had brought a chance of treatment for tumors which were considered incurable in the past. 

Professor Atalar explained MR Linac method, its five benefits for the patients and made important warnings and recommendations. 

It hits the bull’s eye

Imagine a moving target and you are shooting arrows at them.  Normally, the arrows may hit on any point of the target, or you can at least hit anywhere in a wide area. However, MR Linac device sees the tumor and determines a very narrow target area around it and since we act in cooperation with the patient, we can hold the tumor within the bull’s eye by controlling the respiration. Since the movement is limited and MRI scanner provides a very clear image, we hit the bull’s eye and peripheral tissues are not damaged. 

Patient plays an active role in treatment

Patients having MR Linac therapy are given a prismatic eyeglass which allows them to watch the treatment from monitor. Seeing the area of treatment, the patient is able to regulate respiration and takes an active part in treatment. As a result, patients enjoy their contributions to their treatment and physicians complete the treatment in shorter time, thanks to the cooperation with the patient. 

Even effects of heart beats are eliminated

Ability to acquire images of the target site is one of the important advantages offered by MR Linac. Conventional methods do not allow real-time tumor imaging. However, MR Linac can clearly localize the tumor by showing even the effects of heartbeat, respiration or passage of gas through bowels. 

Tumors can be irradiated at high dose

This high-end method offer better tumor control by delivering high-dose radiation. Thanks to its pin-point accuracy, higher doses are now delivered to tumors more safely. Thus, we aim to have a better tumor control and minimize the damage to healthy tissue, namely adverse effects. 

Interventional procedures are avoided

“Conventional methods required certain painful interventions, such as placing certain substances or metals between organs in order to locate the target lesion, especially for soft tissue tumors. What’s more, these procedures were costly. Thanks to the superior imaging capability of MR Linac device, none of them are needed” says Professor Atalar, M.D. 

MR Linac has the most advanced imaging feature among all radiotherapy devices used around the world. In this method, the tissues involved by the tumor are more clearly imaged, as an MRI scanner is combined with a radiotherapy device and the changes arising out of respiration, organ movements or patient’s movement can be immediately regulated. It is, therefore, called “smart radiotherapy”. “Thanks to the superior imaging capability offered by MR Linac, it is now possible to achieve successful results, particularly in tumors of pancreas, lung, prostate gland and abdomen as well as liver cancers and metastases and some other tumors” says Professor Banu Atalar, M.D.

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