New MRI system for radiotherapy set up at Al Amal
DOHA AL AMAL Hospital has become the first healthcare institution in the world to have acquired the highlysophisticated Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) system for targeted radiation therapy with pinpoint accuracy in cancer cases.
Installed recently at the Radiation Oncology Department of Al Amal Hospital, it’s an advanced medical imaging technique that will help clinicians plan more precise treatment for cancer patients.
The GE Healthcare’s premium wide-bore 1.5 Optima™ MR450w MRI system with radiation oncology options is a device that can pinpoint the exact cancer-affected area for targeted treatment, minimising any potential damage to surrounding tissues.
While the traditional MRI can only provide diagnostic imaging, the new system also helps clinicians determine the exact radiation dose for effective treatment with minimal damage to unaffected tissues.
A special ceremony was held at Al Amal on Sunday to celebrate this latest milestone in health care Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has crossed.
HMC Managing Director Dr Hanan al Kuwari and Director of the Radiation Oncology programme at Al Amal Dr Noora al Hammadi were the masters of the ceremony.
Talking to Qatar Tribune on the sidelines of the function, Vice- President and General Manager for GE Healthcare’s Global MR Business Healthcare Systems, James Davis, said the installation of the advanced MRI scanner in Qatar is another testament of the HMC’s commitment to pioneer cutting-edge health care technology.
“Qatar was the first to order our MRI system with oncology features, a very expensive equipment costing around $2million.
Some of the most progressive cancer institutions in the world are now following what HMC is doing.
Cancer treatment centres across Europe and the US are starting to adopt this technology.
What HMC is doing is not a showcasing of best practices only in the Middle East but also in the world,” Davis said.
This system will provide for better targeting of malignant tumours in brain, head/neck and pelvis for radio therapy.
It was recently introduced at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiation and Oncology’s (ASTRO) 53rd annual meeting.
Its comprehensive options include MRcompatible positioning devices and flat insert, coils that accommodate the positioning devices and protocols which have been optimised for high resolution and thin slice imaging.
The system installed in Qatar is also configured with GE AdvantageSIM, and interfaced to the treatment planning system allowing for multi-modality image registration and virtual simulation.
“We are closely working with Dr al Hammadi and her team to continue to develop some of the features of this facility.
GE Healthcare has already provided extensive training to the staff of Al Amal on how to operate the equipment.
In the next phase, we will work together to develop some of the clinical applications and tools of this latest technology,” Davis added.
Al Amal’s Radiation Oncology Department is the only centre of its kind in Qatar and is one of the most advanced in the region treating patients from across the Gulf region.
The treatment profile represents a complex mix of tumours, paediatric cases and breast cancer.
The Department aims to become a recognised centre of excellence in image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) for the region within five years.
“We have always strived to ensure that the treatments offered to cancer patients in Qatar match those available in any prestigious cancer centre across the world.
To enhance our capabilities in oncology diagnosis, planning and treatment, we selected GE Healthcare’s Optima MR450w with its comprehensive radiation oncology options,” Dr al Hammadi said.
She added, “We’re proud to be the first in the world to deploy the system which offers a 70 cm bore for enhanced patient comfort and 50 cm field of view with uncompromised image quality over large anatomical regions.
Magnetic Resonance has the ability to facilitate more precise treatment through radiation.
To receive the full benefits of this investment, we plan to use the Optima MR450w as a regular diagnostic MRI, as well.” Meanwhile, GE recently opened its Advanced Technology and Research Center in the Qatar Science & Technology Park, a 20,000 sq meter centre envisaged as a hub for education, technical training and new product initiatives for the Middle East, Europe and Asia with an emphasis on four key growth areas– healthcare, aviation, oil & gas and research.
GE Healthcare will work in partnership with Qatar Foundation to achieve excellence in research and education to transform Qatar into a global hub for healthcare innovation, entrepreneurship and research.