Loyola is the only Illinois health system offering MRIdian by Viewray® radiation therapy, providing precise, high-dose radiation with fewer treatment sessions and side effects, better outcomes
MAYWOOD, IL.—Loyola Medicine recently celebrated its 100th patient to complete cancer treatment with the MRIdian by Viewray® radiation therapy system, a novel treatment that utilizes MRI-guided radiation to precisely treat cancerous tumors, typically with fewer treatment sessions and side effects, and better outcomes.
Carol Potrawski, 75, received the last of her five MRIdian treatments at the Loyola Medicine Center for Cancer Care & Research at Loyola's Radiation Oncology Center in Orland Park, Illinois, successfully concluding her treatment for an early stage breast cancer. Mrs. Potrawski was diagnosed earlier this year, and following a lumpectomy, received radiation treatments.
With traditional radiation therapy, CT scans are taken before each session to aid clinicians in aligning the radiation beam for treatment. However, this type of imaging does not take into account the normal daily adjustments and functions of the body, such as breathing, nor the clear visualization and tracking of soft tissues. As a result, radiation oncologists must expand the radiation area to account for motion and potential uncertainties to ensure that the entire tumor (or the area where the tumor was removed) receives treatment. Unfortunately, the larger, traditional radiation beam can damage nearby healthy tissue.
With the MRIdian system, “we can clearly see the targeted area and its range of motion without any significant uncertainty,” said Tamer Abdelrhman, MD, PhD, Loyola Medicine associate professor of radiation oncology, MRI-guided radiation therapy program director, and the medical director of the Radiation Oncology Center at the Loyola Medicine Center for Cancer Care & Research at in Orland Park. “With MRI-guided radiation therapy (MRgRT), we are able to vary the plan every day and create a new radiation therapy plan—while the patient is on the treatment table—delivering an optimal dose of radiation to the cancerous area while sparing nearby healthy organs and tissue. This advanced treatment approach is named Real-Time Online Adaptive Radiation Therapy, or ROAR.”
Because the MRIdian procedure allows for a higher level of radiation, most early stage breast cancer patients require just five treatment sessions, versus four to five weeks with standard, whole-breast therapy. The entire process is painless and typically takes between 20 and 30 minutes per session. As the technology provides high-quality soft tissue definition, it is optimal for visualizing and treating tumors in the prostate, pancreas, liver, breast, lungs and other organs.
Loyola Medicine is the only health system in Illinois to offer the MRIdian treatment.
Following Mrs. Potrawski’s final radiation treatment at Loyola (she received treatment at another radiation machine, prior to the MRIdian sessions), she struck the gong, a tradition for patients completing cancer treatment at Loyola. As the 100th patient to complete MRIdian treatment, she and her medical team also celebrated with balloons and cake. Mrs. Potrawski says she looks forward to resuming her active life with her three grown children – two sons and one daughter – and four grandchildren, all of whom live within minutes of her home.
“I’m happy to be done,” said Mrs. Potrawski, a life-long resident of the South Side of Chicago, who moved to Lockport five years ago to be closer to her family. “I can’t say enough about the exceptional care and treatment I received at Loyola. Everyone was fantastic.”