Clinical trial focused on MRI-guided radiation therapy enrolls first patient

Researchers have enrolled the first patient for the Stereotactic MRI-guided On-table Adaptive Radiation Therapy (SMART) Trial, a multi-center clinical trial that will investigate the benefits of MRI-guided, high-dose radiation therapy on patients with inoperable pancreatic cancer. The study is the first of its kind and will include a total of 133 participants.

Specifically, the researchers plan to explore the notion that receiving high-dose, MRI-guided radiation therapy using adaptive dose planning can improve overall survival rates without increasing the rate of grade 3 or higher gastrointestinal toxicity in patients with inoperable pancreatic cancer. They will examine the patients’ quality of life throughout a five-year study period.

“High-definition MR and daily treatment plan adaptation allow us to deliver ablative radiation doses safely to pancreatic cancer patients for the first time ever," Parag Parikh, MD, co-investigator of the study and director of GI radiation oncology and MR-guided radiation therapy at the Henry Ford Cancer Institute in Detroit, said in a prepared statement.

Study participants will receive radiation doses at 50 Gray in five treatment sessions. Specialists will use real-time MRI to locate the cancer and control the radiation beam as needed.

SMART Trial researchers hope to build upon results from previous studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, Washington University and the University of Wisconsin, among others.