Willmar Regional Cancer Center recently began using new software called MIM Maestro, or MIM as it’s known at the cancer center, that will greatly benefit radiation patients. Though patients won’t interact with this software first-hand, it’s changing the way patients receive treatment.
“MIM is allowing us to treat tumors with more precision. It allows us to perform complex calculations we previously couldn’t to help us better determine radiation doses and to execute the patient’s plan with more accuracy than ever before,” said Joe Schmidt, physicist at Willmar Regional Cancer Center.
As the cancer center’s physicist, Joe works closely with the dosimetrist and radiation oncologist to determine how much radiation a patient should receive. Willmar Regional Cancer Center’s dosimetrist Charlene Gordon is the primary user of this new software.
“When a patient has already received radiation treatments, MIM can help us more clearly see what those previous radiation doses and the proposed treatment plan look like together inside the patient. This is very important for us when determining the overall dose and how it affects normal tissues and organs,” Charlene said.
The cancer center has always had the ability to overlay a patient’s diagnostic images, such as a PET scan or MRI, onto a CT scan to determine a patient’s radiation treatment. Before undergoing radiation every patient at WRCC has a CT scan to help the team develop this treatment plan. But the MIM software uses something called DIR, or deformable image registration, to map the size of the patient’s tumor into one image using the CT and other diagnostic tests. MIM not only more accurately outlines a patient’s organs and the planned radiation, but it processes and generates more comprehensive reports. It also shows what effect breathing has on a tumor’s location
“The things MIM allows us to do are incredible, allowing us to focus on the most important details more quickly and easily,” said Joe. “MIM has fundamentally changed how we do things and that’s allowing us to provide the best possible care for our patients.”