Approximately one third of UK residents will
suffer from cancer at some point during their lives and, with current practice,
about a half of these will receive radiotherapy
as part of their treatment. Predominantly, this radiotherapy will be in the
form of X-rays. Unfortunately, due to the profile of the energy
deposition in tissue, it is very difficult to prevent damage to healthy
tissue and, more importantly, to vital organs, the spinal cord and the brain,
using X-rays, even employing the most modern delivery techniques. With beams of
hadrons, for example protons or carbon ions, however, much of the energy
deposition occurs in the so-called Bragg peak at the end of the hadron range.
Although there is still energy loss before this peak, this is only a fraction of
the total and, more importantly, there is very little after the peak. This makes
it possible to minimise damage to healthy tissue and avoid it completely in
vital areas of the body. There is an increasing body of clinical evidence
demonstrating the benefits of therapy
using hadron beams.
Unfortunately, in the UK this so-called hadron therapy is only available at
one place, the Clatterbridge Centre for
Oncology, and can only be used for treating tumours in the eye. The British
Accelerator Science and Radiation Oncology Consortium believes this is simply
not good enough. We are studying a novel technology for delivering hadron
therapy which we will believe is superior to the existing techniques and will
make hadron therapy possible in major hospitals in the UK.
Details of our plans can be found here.
Please note that this website is currently under development.
For more information, please contact: Rob Edgecock - Tel: +44 (0)1235