Inside STAT: For precision cancer care, doctors invest in new tools — and training
One of the biggest challenges with radiation therapy for cancer has been ensuring that the beams only hit the intended tumor. But organs and tumors can be dynamic, making radiation hit neighboring areas, causing unintended toxic effects. A new piece of technology may change that: A combination of an MRI machine and a linear accelerator that delivers radiation, the new MRI-Linac machine is being tested in hospitals around the country. “[W]e can image better. Target better,” Dr. Raymond Mak, a radiation oncologist at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, tells STAT’s Megan Thielking. But training people to use the machine may be the most daunting part, as it can take weeks or even months before patients can be introduced to it. Read more — and watch the accompanying video from STAT’s Alex Hogan — here.