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MRI-guided Stereotactic Ablative Radiation Therapy Of Spinal Bone Metastases: A Preliminary Experience

Ricardo Llorente, Benjamin O Spieler, James Victoria, Cristiane Takita, Raphael Yechieli, John C Ford, Karen Brown, Michael A Samuels, Eric A Mellon

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Objective: MRI provides clear visualization of spinal cord, tumor, and bone for patient positioning and verification during MRI-guided radiotherapy (MRI-RT). Therefore, we wished to evaluate spine stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) feasibility with MRI-RT. Given dosimetric limitations of first generation Co-60 MRI-RT, we then evaluated improvements by newer linear accelerator (linac) MRI-RT. Methods: Nine spinal metastases were treated with Co-60 MRI-RT. Seven received a single 16 Gy fraction, and two received three fractions totaling 24 or 30 Gy. After replanning with linac MRI-RT software, comparisons of organ at risk and dose spillage objectives between Co-60 and linac plans were performed. Results: Spinal cord and cauda equina dose constraints were met in all Co-60 cases. Treatments were delivered successfully with real-time imaging during treatment and no treatment-related toxicities. While limits for dose spillage into surrounding soft tissues were not achieved due to the limitations of the Co-60 system, this could be corrected with linac MRI-RT delivery. Conclusions: MRI-RT SABR of spinal metastases is feasible with Co-60 MRI-RT. Dose delivery is improved by linac MRI-RT. Advances in knowledge: This is the first report of MRI-RT for SABR of spinal metastases. The enhanced visualization of anatomy by MRI may facilitate RT dose escalation for spine SABR.