Magnetic resonance guided radiation therapy: a review

Stephen Chin, Cynthia Eccles, Alan Mcwilliam, Robert Chuter, Emma Walker, Philip Whitehurst, Joseph Berresford, Marcel Van Herk, Peter Hoskin, Ananya Choudhury

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Magnetic resonance guided radiation therapy (MRgRT) is a promising approach to improving clinical outcomes for patients treated with radiation therapy. The roles of image guidance, adaptive planning and magnetic resonance imaging in radiation therapy have been increasing over the last two decades. Technical advances have led to the feasible combination of magnetic resonance imaging and radiation therapy technologies, leading to improved soft tissue visualization, assessment of inter- and intra-fraction motion, motion management, online adaptive radiation therapy and the incorporation of functional information into treatment. MRgRT can potentially transform radiation oncology by improving tumour control and quality of life after radiation therapy and increasing convenience of treatment by shortening treatment courses for patients. Multiple groups have developed clinical implementations of MRgRT predominantly in the abdomen and pelvis, with patients having been treated since 2014. While studies of MRgRT have primarily been dosimetric so far, an increasing number of trials are underway examining the potential clinical benefits of MRgRT, with coordinated efforts to rigorously evaluate the benefits of the promising technology. This review discusses the current implementations, studies, potential benefits and challenges of MRgRT.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology
Early online date23 Oct 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Oct 2019


  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • radiation oncology
  • radiation oncology imaging
  • MR-guided radiation therapy


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