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New Proton Beam Therapy upgrade for Radiotherapy facilities

13 May 2020

Cardiff University, School of Healthcare Sciences has become the first institution in the UK to add Proton Beam Therapy simulated technology to its impressive radiotherapy facilities supported by Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW).

The School is already home to a distinctive facility which provides a 3D simulation of the radiotherapy environment.

The facility allows students to get hands-on experience of using radiotherapy linear accelerator treatment machines in a safe environment and contains the following technology:

  • Eclipse: To minimise the side effects of radiation, it is vital to safely plan where high energy photons and electrons are going to enter and exit the body. Eclipse allows students to create radiotherapy treatment plans.
  • Virtual simulator: The Prosoma virtual simulator replicates radiotherapy treatment and enables students to visualise the anatomy of the patient in relation to a virtual radiation beam.
  • Virtual Radiotherapy Treatment (VERT): Allows students to practice and visualise the radiation beam as it passes through the body.

The School have now added a Proton Beam Therapy upgrade to the system to provide their students with some hands-on experience in proton therapy, in a safe and non-pressured environment.

The Proton Beam upgrade is part of a complete hardware refresh ensuring the system will be available for student education for years to come.

Keren Williamson, Senior Lecturer for Radiotherapy, said ‘We have been extremely fortunate to have been supported by HEIW in funding these new technologies, especially the new proton VERT system. As well as supporting their academic learning, these systems will enable our students to develop key skills that will enhance their employability and ensure that they are fully equipped for current and future developments in radiotherapy practice.’

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