Interventional Radiation Oncology (IRO): Transition of a magnetic resonance simulator to a brachytherapy suite

Roberta Anderson, Elwood Armour, Courtney Beeckler, Valerie Briner, Amanda Choflet, Andrea Cox, Amanda N. Fader, Marie N. Hannah, Robert Hobbs, Ellen Huang, Marilyn Kiely, Junghoon Lee, Marc Morcos, Paige E. McMillan, Dave Miller, Sook Kien Ng, Rashmi Prasad, Annette Souranis, Robert Thomsen, Theodore L. DeWeeseAkila N. Viswanathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: As a core component of a new gynecologic cancer radiation program, we envisioned, structured, and implemented a novel Interventional Radiation Oncology (IRO) unit and magnetic resonance (MR)–brachytherapy environment in an existing MR simulator. Methods and Materials: We describe the external and internal processes required over a 6-8 month time frame to develop a clinical and research program for gynecologic brachytherapy and to successfully convert an MR simulator into an IRO unit. Results: Support of the institution and department resulted in conversion of an MR simulator to a procedural suite. Development of the MR gynecologic brachytherapy program required novel equipment, staffing, infrastructural development, and cooperative team development with anesthetists, nurses, therapists, physicists, and physicians to ensure a safe and functional environment. Creation of a separate IRO unit permitted a novel billing structure. Conclusions: The creation of an MR-brachytherapy environment in an MR simulator is feasible. Developing infrastructure includes several collaborative elements. Unique to the field of radiation oncology, formalizing the space as an Interventional Radiation Oncology unit permits a sustainable financial structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-596
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2018


  • Gynecologic cancer
  • MR brachytherapy
  • MR simulator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Oncology


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