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Findings of the AAPM Ad Hoc committee on magnetic resonance imaging in radiation therapy: Unmet needs, opportunities, and recommendations

, Neelam Tyagi, John E. Bayouth, Minsong Cao, B. Gino Fallone, Carri K. Glide‐Hurst, Frank L. Goerner, Olga L. Green, Taeho Kim, Eric S. Paulson,
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Published: 6 July 2021

Abstract: The past decade has seen the increasing integration of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging into radiation therapy (RT). This growth can be contributed to multiple factors, including hardware and software advances that have allowed the acquisition of high-resolution volumetric data of RT patients in their treatment position (also known as MR simulation) and the development of methods to image and quantify tissue function and response to therapy. More recently, the advent of MR-guided radiation therapy (MRgRT) - achieved through the integration of MR imaging systems and linear accelerators - has further accelerated this trend. As MR imaging in RT techniques and technologies, such as MRgRT, gain regulatory approval worldwide, these systems will begin to propagate beyond tertiary care academic medical centers and into more community-based health systems and hospitals, creating new opportunities to provide advanced treatment options to a broader patient population. Accompanying these opportunities are unique challenges related to their adaptation, adoption, and use including modification of hardware and software to meet the unique and distinct demands of MR imaging in RT, the need for standardization of imaging techniques and protocols, education of the broader RT community (particularly in regards to MR safety) as well as the need to continue and support research, and development in this space. In response to this, an ad hoc committee of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) was formed to identify the unmet needs, roadblocks, and opportunities within this space. The purpose of this document is to report on the major findings and recommendations identified. Importantly, the provided recommendations represent the consensus opinions of the committee’s membership, which were submitted in the committee's report to the AAPM Board of Directors. In addition, AAPM ad hoc committee reports differ from AAPM task group reports in that ad hoc committee reports are neither reviewed nor ultimately approved by the committee’s parent groups, including at the council and executive committee level. Thus, the recommendations given in this summary should not be construed as being endorsed by or official recommendations from the AAPM.
Keywords: biomarker / magnetic resonance / MRgRT / radiation therapy / safety / simulation

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