Image guidance is of paramount importance for modern high-precision radiation therapy techniques that produce highly conformal dose distributions. The steep dose gradients require treatment plans that are robust against anatomical variations due to motion and deformation. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) offers a fast real-time imaging modality with excellent soft-tissue contrast without ionizing radiation exposure. This makes MRI an excellent imaging modality for 4D motion tracking of mobile tumours and surrounding healthy normal tissues.

The aim of the MRI-Plan Group is to investigate and develop new concepts in the field of MRI-based radiation therapy planning and delivery. The integration of MRI into (pre-)clinical radiation therapy is envisioned to: improve tissue delineation accuracy and precision, quantify organ motion, individually adapt treatment strategies, and evaluate therapy response. The ultimate goal is to improve treatment efficacy in a cost-effective manner such that the increasing number of cancer patients can benefit from it.

The group’s work is particularly focussed on:

  • integration of geometrically correct high-quality anatomical and functional MRI into the radiotherapy workflow
  • development and application of 4D-MRI based adaptive radiation therapy planning for abdominopelvic tumours
  • investigation of technical feasibility to integrate MRI functionality in a hybrid proton therapy system


A flat table top and coil holders are used to position the patient on the MRI scanner. (c) OncoRay
Dedicated setup for patients undergoing an MRI scan in radiation therapy position. (c) OncoRay