GE Healthcare introduces GEM radiation open head and neck coil suite

19 April 2013

GE Healthcare has announced the US 510(k) clearance and European CE marking of its MR solution for head & neck imaging in the presence of radiation therapy (RT) immobilization devices.

Part of GE’s MR Radiation Oncology offerings, the 1.5T GEM RT Open Head & Neck Suite combined with GE’s Optima 450w GEM MR scanner, enables high-resolution, large field of view scanning of the head and neck.

The array was designed specifically for imaging for radiation therapy planning. Its open design and flexible GEM coils that conform to the patient’s anatomy offer the opportunity to scan a patient comfortably with their face area fully open, while simultaneously delivering excellent image quality in the treatment position.

The use of MR to help plan for radiation treatment is on the rise as it provides excellent soft tissue visualization of tumours and the surrounding organs to help focus the maximum amount of radiation. GE’s GEM RT Open Head & Neck suite provides diagnostic quality images of the head, neck, and brachial plexus anatomies, helping physicians treat tumours effectively and reduce damage to nearby normal tissues.

With an estimated global incidence of 533,000 cases each year, head and neck cancer is the fifth most common cancer worldwide. Radiation therapy often plays a significant role in treating head and neck cancers; however when organs at risk are irradiated, patients can experience adverse reactions including taste impairment, decreased salivary function, and difficulty swallowing.

“In radiation therapy, optimal imaging is critical for treatment planning as it enables us to both escalate radiation dose to the tumour site and reduce unnecessary radiation exposure to non-cancerous tissue,” said Steven J. Frank, MD Associate Professor and Director of Advanced Technologies in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. “The more confidently a radiation oncologist can identify the specific margins of a tumour and adjacent normal tissue, the more confident he or she can be in ensuring effective treatment and improving patient’s quality of life.”

“While our priority in cancer treatment is always getting the right treatment to the right location, it is also our responsibility as physicians to ensure that the patient is comfortable and at ease as much as possible throughout the process,” said Dr. Aad van der Lugt, Professor of Neuroradiology/Head and Neck Radiology at Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. “With the ability to deliver excellent image quality of the head and neck in an open manner, the new head and neck coil suite from GE enables us to a leap forward in terms of quality of care, while enabling a positive patient experience.”


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