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Radiotherapy Physics

The Radiotherapy Physics Team consists of Clinical Scientists and Clinical Technologists committed to providing high-quality scientific and technical support to the radiotherapy department at the Royal United Hospital.

Radiotherapy involves the use of X–rays and electrons for the treatment of cancer. It is a localised treatment, which kills cancer cells in the area of the body at which it is directed. This requires specialist knowledge in the planning of the radiation treatment, the quality assurance of the radiotherapy equipment and leadership in the application of physics principles to our cancer care.

The Radiotherapy department is equipped with two Varian linear accelerators (linacs), a superficial treatment unit, a Canon CT-Simulator and a Raystation computer treatment planning system. The linear accelerators, simulator and treatment planning system are networked with the Varian ARIA oncology management and record & verification system.

Treatment planning

Every patient that receives radiotherapy treatment has a custom-made treatment plan. Planning ensures that the treatment encompasses the area the oncologist wishes to treat, while keeping irradiation of the surrounding healthy tissue and sensitive organs to a minimum.

In many cases Clinical Technologists and Clinical Scientists use complex computer programs along with their expert knowledge to generate the optimum treatment plan for each individual patient.

Dosimetry and Quality Assurance

The radiotherapy physics team also performs measurements and calibrations on the radiotherapy treatment machines to ensure that they deliver accurate radiation doses in accordance with national protocols. This ensures that the radiation dose delivered to the patient is the precise dose prescribed by the oncologist.

Other activities of the radiotherapy physics team include:

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