Radiotherapy Physics provides a comprehensive service to the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, across the main site at Gartnavel Hospital and at its facility in Monklands Hospital. A team of Clinical Scientists and Clinical Technologists, provide the scientific and technical support required for the patients radiotherapy journey.
Senior Clinical Scientists support radiotherapy practice and advise on the best treatment and dose for the patient. While scientists and engineers maintain equipment performance.
Radiotherapy Physics actively promotes and is engaged in clinical developments aimed at introducing more advanced radiotherapy techniques to improve patient care. In recent years the range of radiotherapy treatments has increased dramatically. Clinical Scientists have developed many of these new radiotherapy techniques at the Beatson.
Together with Consultant Oncologists, Physics staff support and deliver many national and international clinical trials, with staff playing a vital role including the specialised planning for trials patients, and helping devise new clinical approaches.
A dedicated team of Clinical Technologists maintain equipment including linear accelerators, simulators, orthovoltage unit, and Brachytherapy HDR units. They run quality, safety and radiation calibration tests and prepare them for daily use prior to any treatment commencing.
The team also support the installation and commissioning of new equipment, and provide first-line help with equipment faults, and perform all equipment repairs.
Treatment Planning Physicists and Dosimetrists use sophisticated planning software to prepare treatment plans for each patient, which is delivered using a linear accelerator. Each treatment plan is designed to ensure that the tumour can receive as large a radiation dose as possible, whilst minimising the dose received by healthy tissue and sensitive organs.
Staff in this area perform a wide range of work including radiation dosimetry, management of specialised radiotherapy equipment including servicing and repair, and delivering programs of quality assurance to ensure the best outcome for patients.
They also participate in programs of external dosimetry audit with partner departments in the UK. Part of the routine workload for the section, is regular commissioning of new equipment such as linear accelerators, imaging and Brachytherapy systems, and generating data for planning system commissioning.
Alongside routine work, staff are engaged in the implementation of new codes of practice and development of new techniques. Most recently, the team were amongst the first in the UK to make calibration measurements for flattening-filter free volumetric modulated arc therapy and the department has amongst the highest level of VMAT treatments in the UK.