News in magnetic resonance imaging use for radiation oncology

Cancer Radiother. 2022 Oct;26(6-7):784-788. doi: 10.1016/j.canrad.2022.06.028. Epub 2022 Aug 26.


The purpose of this article is to give a summary of the progress of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in radiotherapy. MRI is an important imaging modality for treatment planning in radiotherapy. However, the registration step with the simulation scanner can be a source of errors, motivating the implementation of all-MRI simulation methods and new accelerators coupled with on-board MRI. First, practical MRI imaging for radiotherapy is detailed, but also the importance of a coherent imaging workflow incorporating all imaging modalities. Second, future evolutions and research domains such as quantitative imaging biomarkers, MRI-only pseudo computed tomography and radiomics are discussed. Finally, the application of MRI during radiotherapy treatment is reviewed: the use of MR-linear accelerators. MRI is increasingly integrated into radiotherapy. Advances in diagnostic imaging can thus benefit radiotherapy, but specific radiotherapy constraints lead to additional challenges and require close collaboration between radiologists, radiation oncologists, technologists and physicists. The integration of quantitative imaging biomarkers in the radiotherapy process will result in mutual benefit for diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy. MRI-guided radiotherapy has already been used for several years in clinical routine. Abdominopelvic neoplasias (pancreas, liver, prostate) are the preferred locations for treatment because of their favourable contrast in MRI, their movement during irradiation and their proximity to organs at risk of radiation exposure, making the tracking and daily adaptation of the plan essential. MRI has emerged as an increasingly necessary imaging modality for radiotherapy planning. Inclusion of patients in clinical trials evaluating new MRI-guided radiotherapy techniques and associated quantitative imaging biomarkers will be necessary to assess the benefits.

Keywords: IRM; MRI; MRI-guided radiotherapy (MRgRT); Pseudo-CT; Radiomics; Radiomique; Radiothérapie guidée par IRM.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Particle Accelerators
  • Radiation Oncology* / methods
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Radiotherapy, Image-Guided* / methods