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Guidance on the use of MRI for treatment planning in radiotherapy clinical trials

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Robert I Johnstone, Teresa Guerrero-Urbano, Andriana Michaelidou, Tony Greener, Elizabeth Miles, David Eaton, Christopher Thomas

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20190161
JournalBritish Journal of Radiology
Issue number1105
Published1 Dec 2019

King's Authors


The aim of this article is to propose meaningful guidance covering the technical and safety issues involved when designing or conducting radiotherapy clinical trials that use MRI for treatment planning. The complexity of imaging requirements will depend on the trial aims, design and MRI methods used.The use of MRI within the RT pathway is becoming more prevalent and clinically appropriate as access to MRI increases, treatment planning systems become more versatile and potential indications for MRI-planning in RT are documented. Novel MRI-planning opportunities are often initiated and validated within clinical trials.The guidance in this document is intended to assist researchers designing RT clinical trials involving MRI, so that they may provide sufficient information about the appropriate methods to be used for image acquisition, post-processing and quality assurance such that participating sites complete MRI to consistent standards. It has been produced in collaboration with the National Radiotherapy Trials Quality Assurance Group (RTTQA).As the use of MRI in RT is developed, it is highly recommended for researchers writing clinical trial protocols to include imaging guidance as part of their clinical trial documentation covering the trial-specific requirements for MRI procedures. Many of the considerations and recommendations in this guidance may well apply to MR-guided treatment machines, where clinical trials will be crucial. Similarly, many of these recommendations will apply to the general use of MRI in RT, outside of clinical trials.This document contains a large number of recommendations, not all of which will be relevant to any particular trial. Designers of RT clinical trials must therefore take this into account. They must also use their own judgement as to the appropriate compromise between accessibility of the trial and its technical rigour.

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