Guided radiation therapy using magnetic resonance imaging was given for the first time in Finland

In March 2023, at the HUS Cancer Center, guided radiation therapy using magnetic resonance imaging was given for the first time in Finland.

Helsinki University Hospital HUS Cancer Center is the first hospital in Finland where you can receive radiation therapy using magnetic resonance imaging for the treatment of cancer. With the help of this new technology, targeting tumors in the abdomen and pelvis is significantly improved.

The radiation treatment’s MRI-controlled linear accelerator was put into use on March 1, 2023. Currently, it is the only one of its kind in Finland, with 100 similar devices worldwide. This device combines a magnetic resonance imaging device for continuous visualization and localization of the treatment area with a linear accelerator for radiation delivery. Thanks to this innovative technology, HUS cancer patients can now receive more personalized radiotherapy. An MRI-guided linear accelerator is suitable for treating almost all types of tumors.

“Patients who benefit most from the treatment are those with small cancerous tumors or tumors located in the stomach or pelvic area, which can be affected by intestinal and respiratory movements,” says Chief Physicist Professor Mikko Tenhunen at the HUS Cancer Center.

The treatment options for cancer patients are increasing in Finland

With the help of magnetic examination during the treatment, the radiotherapy can be targeted better than before, reducing the radiation exposure to nearby healthy tissues. The radiation treatment can be directed and processed at each treatment session, which also enables a larger one-time dose, whereby the number of necessary treatment sessions is reduced.

“Through guidance via magnetic resonance imaging, we can treat many tumors with larger radiation doses, which improves the treatment results. At the same time, we are expanding cancer patients’ treatment options everywhere in Finland.” notes Tenhunen.