Speaker : Rafal Panek, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Department of Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering (MPCE), Nottingham
Title : The role of MRI in radiotherapy planning
Bio: Rafal completed his PhD at the Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre in Nottingham working on Single Scan 2D NMR Spectroscopy and Dynamic Nuclear Polarisation, followed by a post-doctoral fellow research position. He then moved to work on MRI applications in oncology at the Royal Marsden Hospital and the Institute of Cancer Research in London. His work focused on evaluation of parameters defined by dynamic contrast enhanced MRI, blood oxygen level dependent MRI and diffusion weighted MRI as predictive biomarkers of poor treatment outcome in head and neck cancer. Currently Rafal works as a Clinical Scientist supporting provision of the MRI service at the Nottingham University Hospitals. His work includes application of MRI for screening, diagnosis, planning and evaluation of treatment. He advises on MRI safety, clinical trials and service development. He pursues his research interests on translation of emerging MRI methods and evaluation of clinically applicable MRI biomarkers as an honorary Assistant Professor at the University of Nottingham.
Abstract: The use of MRI in Radiotherapy planning is rapidly expanding. In addition to high-resolution morphological images, providing excellent soft tissue contrast, MRI can also be used to obtain information on the functional properties of tissues. These techniques exploit pathophysiological changes occurring within tumours as their contrast mechanism, such as altered perfusion, cellularity or oxygenation. Therefore, functional techniques are increasingly being used for tumour detection, monitoring of treatment response, and detection of relapsed disease. In the radiotherapy context the ultimate goal of functional imaging is to identify radio-resistant disease and thus provide a biological target volume for dose boosting or alternative treatment. It can also be used to visualise organs at risk and is widely used to identify nerve fibres, which can be useful for regional sparing. Geometric accuracy is therefore essential to allow correct registration of MR images with anatomical MRI and planning CT datasets. The need for patient imaging in the radiotherapy treatment position poses additional challenges and requires development of MRI safe immobilisation devices and coils.