Radiotherapy Team celebrates artificial intelligence milestone | News

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Radiotherapy Team celebrates artificial intelligence milestone

Radiotherapy Team with patient

Royal Surrey’s Radiotherapy Team is celebrating becoming the first UK hospital to deliver its 1,000th adaptive treatment to cancer patients using artificial intelligence (AI).

New technology adapts the treatment to a patient’s anatomy in real time and uses online adaptive radiotherapy fractions delivered via the Varian Ethos© machine. The treatment particularly benefits bladder and cervix cancer patients.  

Rachel Hollingdale, Principal Radiotherapy Physicist, said: “The advantage of using this type of radiotherapy is that it offers a more patient-friendly form of treatment. The AI software produces a highly personalised plan for each individual that is updated daily.” 

Adaptive Team Lead Radiographer, Miriam Rashid, added: “Adaptive radiotherapy particularly benefits patients with cancers in the pelvic area because changes to bowel or bladder fullness can affect the position of their tumour. Thanks to online adaptive radiotherapy technology, we can update the treatment plan so that patients don’t need to be rescanned or have new treatment plans created.”

Using the Trust’s Varian Ethos© treatment machine, radiographers deliver a precisely targeted dose that helps limit radiation exposure to critical organs surrounding a patient’s tumour.

Bladder cancer patients receive 20 treatments, or ‘fractions’, of radiotherapy and cervix cancer patients 25 fractions during their course of treatment.

Penelope Silk, 71, (pictured above with the team) was the patient receiving the 1,000th treatment. The grandmother of six said: “I’m halfway through my six weeks of radiotherapy for cervical cancer and I’m very proud to be part of this celebration of the 1,000th treatment using this brilliant new technology. My treatments have been very straightforward so far.

“But I do think that no matter how good the machines are, it’s the people who are looking after me and supporting me that make all the difference. All the staff here have been so good at keeping me informed, advising me and making me feel confident and I’m extremely grateful for that.”

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