The Radiotherapy Physics Group provides scientific expertise for the delivery of external beam radiotherapy and brachytherapy treatments. We support the current services and develop future radiotherapy techniques. At the main Clatterbridge site we currently have eight linear accelerators:
A second Varian Edge machine will be installed later this year. One of the TrueBeams is operated by The Clatterbridge Clinic, which is a joint partnership for the treatment of private patients.
All of our machines have multileaf collimators and amorphous silicon portal imaging. We have offered intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) treatments here since 2002, and Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT) has been in routine clinical use since 2008. There is a superficial unit providing X-rays from 80 kV to 140 kV and an orthovoltage unit providing X-rays up to 300 kV. We also have a 50-kV Papillon system for the local treatment of rectal cancer. Brachytherapy is carried out with a remote-afterloading high-dose-rate (HDR) microSelectron unit, as well as treatments using iodine-125 seeds and iridium-192 wire. We have two dedicated wide-bore planning CT scanners (both of which are able to perform 4D-CT scanning), and there are also two MR scanners that are used for radiotherapy planning. In addition, we have a conventional simulator with digital imaging. Treatment planning is carried out using Pinnacle, Eclipse, Oncentra and iPlan.
In 2011 we started to treat patients at our satellite radiotherapy centre, Clatterbridge Cancer Centre Liverpool, which is situated adjacent to The Walton Centre on the University Hospital Aintree site. At CCCL we have a further three Varian linacs, all with OBI and arc therapy capabilities. Two of these are Clinac iXs, while the third linac is a Novalis Tx radiosurgery system equipped with a Brainlab ExacTrac robotic 6D couch and the ExacTrac imaging system.
In common with most radiotherapy physics departments, our routine duties include:
Particular interests of the Radiotherapy Physics Group at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre include the following: