Cutting-edge radiotherapy machines installed at Weston Park Hospital

The technology targets tumours in a short space of time with pinpoint precision and accuracy

Radiographer Nicholas Bell with the new Varian TrueBeam STx

Cancer patients in Sheffield and the South Yorkshire region can now access some of the most advanced radiotherapy treatments in the world thanks to the addition of two state-of-the-art radiotherapy machines and two CT scanners at Weston Park Hospital.

The cutting-edge technology, which complements existing hi-tech equipment already being offered at Weston Park Hospital, targets tumours in a short space of time with pinpoint precision and accuracy.

Set to benefit 1.8 million people living in Sheffield and the surrounding region, two new Varian TrueBeam STx radiotherapy machines offer patients the fastest and most accurate radiotherapy treatment, while two new Philips Brilliance Big Bore Computerised Tomography (CT) scanners allow greater precision in vital planning processes.

The Varian TrueBeam STx uses a wide range of  technical innovations including synchronised imaging, patient positioning and motion management to deliver high doses of radiation with pinpoint accuracy. Together with its ability to rotate so that cancerous tissue can be treated from any angle, a high definition multi-leaf device consisting of 120 computer controlled leaves of varying sizes and apertures sculpt the beam and match it to the 3D shape of the tumour. These leaves can move and change during treatment to target the tumour and minimise the dose to the surrounding healthy tissue.

As well as enabling patients to be scanned quickly, the new CT scanners use the latest technological advances to help the team of radiographers, clinical oncologists, physicist and technicians to plan the treatment process with a high degree of precision. In conjunction with other technologies these scanners allow the team to take into account internal movement of organs, optimising treatment and limiting damage to healthy tissue.

The technological advances have been funded by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as part of its ongoing investment into state-of-the-art radiotherapy equipment.

Team leader radiographers Donna White (left) and Emma Prince (right) with the new Philips Brilliance Big Bore Computerised Tomography (CT) scanner

‘These new state-of-the-art radiotherapy machines are a welcome addition to the specialist cancer services we provide,’ said Karen Smith, Senior Manager Radiation Services at Weston Park Hospital. ‘We are constantly renewing our radiotherapy equipment so that we can continue to offer the very latest technological advances to cancer patients throughout the region, and these new machines will help to improve treatment and care of patients at a very difficult stage of their treatment process.’

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