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July 01, 2020

MRI imaging in radiotherapy - where are we now?

"It's a lot of fun when you share your work with diagnostic colleagues, and we work very closely with them,” commented Dr Helen McNair, lead research radiographer at the Royal Marsden, speaking to delegates at UKIO Online 2020 about the benefits of MRI in a therapeutic radiography setting. The Marsden has had a dedicated MR-linac installation in the radiotherapy department for almost two years. Previously, Helen and her team had to share MRI resources with diagnostic colleagues. There is a wide range of benefits to using MRI within therapeutic radiography, Helen told delegates, including improved patient outcomes, increased job satisfaction, and close team working.
News Story: Society of Radiographers

July 01, 2020

Advanced Oncotherapy secures additional funding to develop its LIGHT system

Advanced Oncotherapy PLC (LON:AVO), the developer of proton therapy systems for cancer treatment, has announced a new strategic funding partnership and debt facility. The funding, which totals roughly £42mln, will go towards the development of the company’s LIGHT system and advance the manufacturing of up to 30 LIGHT systems.

July 01, 2020

Second cancer risk after primary cancer treatment with three‐dimensional conformal, intensity‐modulated, or proton beam radiation therapy

The comparative risks of a second cancer diagnosis are uncertain after primary cancer treatment with 3‐dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT), intensity‐modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), or proton beam radiotherapy (PBRT). 450,373 pediatric and adult patients with a first cancer diagnosis between 2004 and 2015 were identified in the National Cancer Database. Median follow‐up was 5.1 years after RT completion with a cumulative follow‐up period of 2.54 million person‐years. Overall, the incidence of second cancer diagnosis was 1.55 per 100 patient‐years. The risk of a second cancer diagnosis was similar after IMRT versus 3DCRT, whereas PBRT was associated with a lower risk of second cancer risk. Future work is warranted to determine the cost‐effectiveness of PBRT and to identify the population best suited for this treatment.

July 01, 2020

Therapeutic Radiographers at the Helm: Moving Towards Radiographer-Led MR-Guided Radiotherapy

Magnetic resonance–guided adaptive radiotherapy (MRgART) has the potential to improve treatment processes and outcomes for a variety of tumour sites; however, it requires significant clinical resources. Magnetic resonance linear accelerator (MR-linac) treatments require a daily multidisciplinary presence for delivery. To facilitate sustainable MRgART models, agreed protocols facilitating therapeutic radiographer (RTT)-led delivery must be developed to establish a service similar to conventional image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT). This work provides a clinical perspective on the implementation of a protocol-driven ‘clinician-lite’ MRgART workflow at one institution.

July 01, 2020

An Ionizing Radiation Acoustic Imaging (iRAI) Technique for Real‐Time Dosimetric Measurements for FLASH Radiotherapy

FLASH radiotherapy (FLASH‐RT) is a novel irradiation modality with ultra‐high dose rates (>40Gy/s) that have shown tremendous promise for its ability to enhance normal tissue sparing while maintaining comparable tumor cell eradication to conventional radiotherapy (CONV‐RT). Due to its extremely high‐dose rates, clinical translation of FLASH‐RT is hampered by risky delivery and current limitations in dosimetric devices, which cannot accurately measure, in real‐time, dose at deeper tissue. This work aims to investigate ionizing radiation acoustic imaging (iRAI) as a promising image‐guidance modality for real‐time deep tissue dose measurements during FLASH‐RT. 

June 30, 2020

Half a million people with cancer "afraid to leave the house" due to coronavirus

Half a million people with cancer in the UK are afraid to the leave the house due to the threat of coronavirus, a new survey suggests. Macmillan Cancer Support conducted a study of 2,202 adults with a previous cancer diagnosis between 2 June and 15 June. Research from the charity suggests that 19 per cent of cancer patients in the UK – around 570,000 people – have scarcely left their homes because they are too afraid to do so, while nine per cent – around 270,000 people – have experienced anxiety attacks or even suicidal thoughts because of the virus..

June 30, 2020

Response of UK interventional radiologists to the COVID-19 pandemic – survey findings

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented effect upon the National Health Service (NHS). Like other specialties, Interventional Radiology (IR) rapidly adapted to the evolving situation. Members of BSIR were surveyed to obtain a snapshot of the experiences of UK IRs in response to COVID-19. A total of 228 responses were received. This survey has confirmed that the responses of UK IR departments to the COVID-19 crisis have ensured vital on-call and urgent services have continued, including ongoing availability of most IR sub-specialties. Availability of a day case facility has possibly influenced the positive response.

June 30, 2020

What you should know about dose reference levels and why

The UKIO presentation, What radiographers should know about dose reference levels (DRLs), asked attendees key questions which all radiographers should be able to answer. DRL is a level used in medical imaging to indicate whether, in routine conditions, the dose to the patient or the amount of radiopharmaceuticals administered in a specified radiological procedure for medical imaging is unusually high or unusually low for that procedure. Variations in DRLs both locally and nationally have caused confusion for radiographers. It is important that you know and understand your local DRLs, review them regularly, and be ready for inspection at all times.
News Story: Society of Radiographers

June 30, 2020

Tim Farron urges Government to 'stop lives being unnecessarily lost' by bringing forward SABR treatment rollout

An MP has called for a quicker rollout of new radiotherapy treatment to deal with the waiting list for cancer treatment caused by the coronavirus pandemic and to 'stop lives being unnecessarily lost'. Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, pressed ministers on the issue in the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon. He urged the rollout of stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) treatment be brought forward. Mr Farron is therefore hoping its introduction across the country, set to take place by April next year, can be brought forward to cut down the number of hospital visits cancer patients need to make.

June 30, 2020

Shropshire radiographer Louise hailed 'health hero' for supporting colleagues

A radiographer at a Shropshire hospital has been given a health hero award after being hailed for going above and beyond to support her colleagues. Louise Arnold was presented with the latest award at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) near Oswestry. Louise – who as well as being a MRI/CT radiographer, is the imaging quality manager – was nominated by the whole radiology department including consultant radiologists, radiographers, nurses, radiology department assistants and the admin team.

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