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The MOMENTUM study – Evaluation of radiotherapy using the MR-Linac


The MR-Linac is the name of a new irradiation device in which an irradiation device (linear accelerator, abbreviated 'linac') is combined with an MRI scanner (abbreviated MR).

An MRI scanner creates images of the inside of the body in a patient-friendly and non-harmful way. An MRI scan uses a strong magnet and generally does not involve any risks. Due to the development of modern MRI techniques it is possible to clearly see where a tumor is located and what properties it has. By also making these images during the radiation treatment, the radiation can be given very specifically. After more than 18 years of development within the radiotherapy department of the UMC Utrecht, in 2017 the first MRLinac was installed in the UMC Utrecht. It is now in use to treat patients.

In the future, we hope to use MRI-controlled radiation therapy to save healthy tissue around the tumor, shorten the patient's recovery time and increase the chance of healing. The MR-Linac can make an MRI scan just before and during radiation treatment to see if exactly the right place in the body is being irradiated. If necessary, the radiation field can be adjusted during irradiation, so that the tumor is better targeted and healthy tissue is spared as much as possible. We hope to automate this targeted irradiation in the future.


Aim of the study

The aim of the MOMENTUM study is to evaluate all patients treated on the MR-Linac, to collect medical and technical data. Medical data are, for example, characteristics of the illness and data about the treatment. An example of technical data is the MRI scans that are made on the MR-Linac before, during and after radiation for use during treatment. With these data, the efficacy of the treatment will be evaluated, and we will investigate side effects and the impact of the treatment on quality of life. This study was initiated at UMC Utrecht and collaborates with other national and international hospitals in Europe and North America.