Radiotherapy team celebrates milestone for adaptive cancer treatment backed by AI

The radiotherapy team at Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust says it has become the first UK hospital to deliver its 1,000th adaptive treatment to cancer patients using AI. Penelope Silk received the 1,000th treatment and said: “I’m halfway through my six weeks of radiotherapy for cervical cancer and I’m proud to be part of this celebration of the 1,000th treatment using this brilliant technology.”

The technology adapts treatment to a patient’s anatomy in real-time and uses online adaptive radiotherapy fractions delivered by the Varian Ethos system. Radiographers deliver a precisely targeted dose that helps limit radiation exposure to critical organs surrounding the tumour. The treatment particularly benefits bladder and cervical cancer patients. Principal radiotherapy physicist Rachel Hollingdale 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.”

Silk explained that her treatments had been very straight- forward 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,” she said. “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.”

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.”

Picture: Penelope Silk, pictured with the Surrey radiotherapy team, says treatment on the Varian Ethos has been straightforward.

Published on page 32 of the April 2023 issue of RAD Magazine.

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