The Jules Bordet Institute, the Brussels-based Belgian reference centre in the fight against cancer, has signed a public procurement contract worth 22 million euros with the Elekta company for the supply of new high-tech radiotherapy equipment. The MRI-LINAC scanner is the first in Belgium and will be operative in 2021.
The MRI-LINAC Elekta scanner combines high precision magnetic resonance imagery (1.5 Tesla MRI) and the treatment of tumours by adaptive irradiation using a linear accelerator (LINAC). The resulting data delivers very comprehensive biological information and permits a precise targeting of tumours, even when contrasts between a healthy environment and a tumour environment are difficult to distinguish.
The system uses ‘real time adaptive’ technology, which means that the system can recalculate in a split second to adapt the parameters of the delivered dose to the volumes targeted. This incomparable calculation precision makes it possible to target and irradiate the tumour cells with a very high precision and optimal dose, while saving adjacent healthy tissue. For the patient, this kind of ultra-personalised treatment reduces the risks of toxicity and the number of treatment sessions.
In addition to this revolutionary technology, the Jules Bordet Institute is also acquiring two new linear accelerators of the latest generation. When treating cancer with radiotherapy, the linear accelerator is the device that permits the irradiation of the tumours. The acquisition of this new equipment combined with the upgrade of the two current linear accelerators will make it possible to treat more patients with increased precision. In addition, all these accelerators will be twinned, thereby allowing patients to transfer from one machine to the other when necessary, for instance in case of maintenance.
The two new linear accelerators, combined with the two upgraded existing accelerators, are now joining the Gamma Knife (Erasmus Hospital) and the intraoperative accelerator already present at the Jules Bordet Institute. The MRI-LINAC will be arriving at the ‘New Bordet’ hospital, that is currently under construction in Anderlecht. But this year already patients will be able to benefit from technological progress thanks to the new high precision parameterization and computation software solutions provided by the new equipment.