Pictured left to right: Alex Smith, Capital Estates Project Manager, Carolyn O'Donovan, Radiotherapy Services Manager and Dr Craig Edwards, Head of Radiotherapy Physics
A second new linear accelerator (LINAC machine) has been installed at UHNM's cancer centre. The accelerator delivers SABR (Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy), a more intensive form of treatment which causes only minimal damage to surrounding organs. The machine cost over £2 million and was used for the first time to treat patients this morning.
Carolyn O'Donovan, Radiotherapy Service Manager, said: "The new accelerators are top-of-the-range and will help us to enhance the service we provide in so many ways. For the first time, we will be able to deliver more specialised treatment at Royal Stoke, saving patients the time and hassle of travelling to Manchester and Birmingham. For example, a patient with lung cancer who is not fit enough for surgery would now be able to receive potentially life-saving SABR, which has a similar success rate to surgery and can target multiple small tumours."
The exciting project to install the new accelerators has involveda range of skilled clinicians, technicians and members of the estates and facilities teams working together.
Dr Craig Edwards, Head of Radiotherapy Physics, said: "A team of highly skilled staff were called on to configure the accelerators which have to be set at a degree of 0.5% accuracy, so that they can be used safely and effectively on patients. Radiographers using the new accelerators will now be able to access imaging, treatment information and verification methods much more quickly and seamlessly. Over the next 10 years of their clinical life, the accelerators will enable the radiotherapy team to adapt to new innovations and techniques as they come to light, so that our patients will always have access to the latest, safest and effective cancer treatment available."