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Siteman to Test Unique Radiation Therapy System

Judy Martin

Aug. 3, 2010 – Researchers at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine will soon become the first in the world to test an innovative radiation therapy system from ViewRay Inc, a privately held medical device company based in Cleveland. The system is designed to improve the accuracy of cancer treatments through a combination of radiology imaging and radiation therapy delivery.

Radiation therapy is critical in the fight against cancer, and nearly two-thirds of all cancer patients receive this type of therapy during their illness. However, patients and their internal organs naturally and continually move during treatment, preventing clinicians from determining precisely where radiation is going in a patient's body. The ViewRay system is being designed to provide continuous magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) during treatment so clinicians can see precisely where the radiation is being delivered, potentially improving treatment success and reducing side effects.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for us to lead the region in the implementation of real-time MRI guidance for radiation therapy for cancer patients," says Dennis Hallahan, MD, chief of radiation oncology at Washington University and the Siteman Cancer Center. "The problem of patient organ motion is one that needs to be solved. We believe the ViewRay technology holds great potential for treating patients with cancers in parts of the body that are sensitive to motion, such as the head and neck, lung, prostate and cervix. The technology fits perfectly with our mission to advance the field of cancer therapy."

"We couldn't have asked for a better partner for our technology," says ViewRay president and CEO Gregory Ayers, MD, PhD. "Washington University researchers are known for their groundbreaking scientific investigation and for their translation of new discoveries into meaningful clinical treatments. We are excited to be working with them to test and refine a system we believe will offer a significant advancement in radiation therapy."

At this time, the ViewRay system is for nonclinical research use only.