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MD Anderson Madrid has successfully carried out the first simulation of radiation therapy by means of magnetic resonance imaging on a patient with liver metastases. Until now, the use of magnetic resonance imaging was common in the design of radiotherapy treatments, but the novelty of this simulation technique is that it uses an indexed flat table top like that in the treatment unit, it includes flexible image acquisition systems with greater versatility in positioning the patient reducing image distortion. In addition, resonance image sequences are used to minimize geometric distortion, which is one of the key points in radiotherapy. Thus, the tumor can be outlined with greater precision, which helps to ensure the successful treatment.

“Until now, the use of MR imaging in radiotherapy, outside the brain, had serious limitations. It was easy to see the ‘what’, but difficult to say ‘where’. This is due to the uncertainties caused by distortion in MR images and the differences in patient positioning for MRI and CT scan simulation. Now, we can outline lesions much more accurately. The patient benefits from more effective, less toxic treatments”, explains Dr. Manuel Llorente, of the Radiophysics and Radiological Protection Service at MD Anderson Madrid.

This first patient will be treated for liver metastases using stereotactic radiosurgery, a technique that helps doctors better target tumors while reducing radiation on adjacent, healthy tissue. This allows the treatment to be more effective while reducing side effects.

The image sequences specific to this technique are the result of research carried out by Philips. Philips MRI equipment is capable of obtaining high-quality images acquired in radiotherapy treatment positioning. The aim of developing the technique is to use it in cases of gynecological, urological and head and neck tumors and metastatic radiosurgery on, for example, bone or the spinal cord.

In 2002, MD Anderson Madrid pioneered the extracranial radiosurgery technique in Spain. In the opinion of the specialists in the Radiotherapy Department, the news announced today represents a greater precision and quality in treatments. In the chosen case, the technique allows liver metastases to be located non-invasively, eliminating the need for surgically implanted fiducial markers.

"The main advantage of this technique over fiducial markers is that they are implanted with needles, which is invasive and uncomfortable for the patient, it is not risk-free and there is no guarantee the markers will be implanted in the right place, which means there are still doubts about location", says Dr. Natalia Carballo, head of the Radiotherapy Service at MD Anderson Madrid.

About MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid

MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid is an affiliate of the prestigious MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, USA. With more than twenty years’ history in Spain, MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid currently offers modern facilities with over 150 medical specialists trained in oncology, a total of 87 hospitalization beds and state-of-the-art technology for the diagnosis and treatment of the different types of cancer.

This large infrastructure, together with continuous, close collaboration with the MD Anderson center in Houston on investigation, and diagnostic and treatment protocols with the participation of a multidisciplinary team of specialists, make MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid one of the leading hospitals in Europe in cancer treatment. For further information:


About Royal Philips

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a leading company in health technologies, focused on improving people's lives and facilitating better results in the health continuum, from healthy lifestyle habits and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips uses its advanced technology and extensive knowledge of the clinical field and the consumer to offer integrated solutions. Based in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, monitoring and health informatics, as well as consumer health and home care. Philips recorded sales of 19.5 billion € in 2019 and employs approximately 80,000 people, with business operations and services in more than 100 countries. The latest news about Philips can be found at