Radiotherapy treatment

Radiotherapy, also called radiation therapy, kills cancer cells. It’s used in the early stages of cancer treatment or after it has started to spread. It can also be used to relieve pain and discomfort from cancer that has spread.

Radiotherapy for cancer

Around half of all cancer patients receive radiation therapy.

Destroying cancer cells

There are many ways to have radiotherapy but they all work in a similar way. Carefully controlled high-energy X-rays destroy or damage cancer cells. This stops them growing or spreading. Radiotherapy is usually delivered in daily intervals called ‘fractions’. This allows time between treatments for the healthy cells to repair and the cancer cells to die off.

At GenesisCare, we’re always pushing the boundaries of technology to develop better radiation therapy treatments. Targeting the cancer cells in tumours without damaging the surrounding healthy tissue.

External beam radiotherapy

What is external beam radiotherapy?

External beam radiotherapy uses high-energy radiation beams to destroy cancer cells. Before your treatment begins, we’ll take some imaging scans to establish the precise shape, size and location of the tumour. If your treatment is after your tumour removal surgery, then we’ll take scans to examine the area where the tumour was removed.

Surface guided radiotherapy (SGRT)

What is surface guided radiotherapy (SGRT)?

SGRT uses sophisticated 3D camera technology to accurately target and kill cancer cells.

Deep inspiration breath hold (DIBH)

What is deep inspiration breath hold (DIBH)?

Deep inspiration breath hold (DIBH) is a simple technique used to treat cancer in the breast or chest wall. It’s precisely targeted so there’s less chance of damage to the heart and lungs.

Image-guided radiotherapy

What is image-guided radiotherapy?

IGRT uses X-rays and scans before, and during, your treatment. It’s used to verify your position and anatomy before the treatment machine is turned on.
  • The scans show the exact shape, size and location of the tumour. We can then make tiny adjustments to precisely target the treatment area
  • IGRT can target cancers that move during, or between, treatment sessions. For example, lung cancers that move as you breathe. Or prostate cancer that can move depending on whether your bowel is full or empty

Intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT)

What is intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT)?

IMRT is a ‘conformal’ radiotherapy. This means radiation beams are shaped to surround the treatment area, so it avoids damaging surrounding healthy tissue.

Volumetric modulated arc therapy

What is volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT)?

Volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) is a type of intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) – where the radiation beams are shaped to fit the target area.

VMAT is a new type of IMRT that delivers a continuous beam of radiotherapy in an arc as the machine (called a linac)moves around you. It automatically changes the beam shape and radiation dose as it moves.

This makes it very accurate and maximises radiation to the tumour while the surrounding healthy tissue receives a much lower dose. This reduces the risk of side effects and means that VMAT can be used when the tumour is close to critical organs, because it helps protect them from being damaged by radiation.

VMAT is used for many cancers, including breast and prostate.

At GenesisCare, we also use VMAT to treat skin cancerisation. Skin cancerisation is dry scaly patches of skin, caused by long-term sun damage. Although it is not cancerous there is a chance it may eventually turn into skin cancer if the area isn’t treated.

Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR)

What is stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR)?

SABR targets tumours in the body with high doses of radiation therapy. It destroys cancer cells with minimum damage to surrounding healthy tissues.

Tomotherapy

What is tomotherapy?

Tomotherapy is a type of IMRT. It combines the technologies of a CT scanner (providing 3D images) and an IMRT machine to accurately target a tumour.
  • Creating a 3D image of the tumour means we can target the beams precisely. We adjust the treatment to the size, shape and location of the treatment area
  • The tumour is given a very high dose of radiation. The healthy surrounding tissue gets a much lower dose, reducing the risk of side-effects

MR linac

What is the MR Linac?

MR Linac technology combines high resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning techniques with extremely powerful radiotherapy beams to treat tumours more accurately and quicker than conventional radiotherapy. This type of radiotherapy is called magnetic resonance image guided radiotherapy (MRIgRT).

Neuro-oncology

What is neuro-oncology?

We are proud to offer a world-class service for stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and other treatments for tumours of the brain and spinal cord, with unrivalled expertise and leading-edge technology.

SpaceOAR® hydrogel

What is SpaceOAR® hydrogel

SpaceOAR® Hydrogel reduces the radiation exposure to the rectum during treatment meaning fewer side effects and better quality of life.

What is radiotherapy?

Side effects

  1. Tiredness

  2. Skin changes and inflamation

  3. Swelling and build up of fluids

  4. Hair loss

  5. Stress, anxiety and other coping issues are also common

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Birmingham

Little Aston Hall Drive, Sutton Coldfield, B74 3BF

+44 (0)121 514 1185

Bristol

300 Park Avenue, Aztec West, Bristol, BS32 4SY

+44 (0)1454 642801

Cambridge

Fordham Rd, Newmarket CB8 7XN, UK

+44 (0)1223 633 664

Chelmsford

Springfield Cancer Centre, Lawn Lane, Chelmsford, CM1 7GU

+44 (0)1245 676 351

Cromwell Hospital

164-178 Cromwell Rd, Kensington, London SW5 0TU, UK

+44 (0)203 613 9355

Elstree

Unit 710, Centennial Park, Centennial Avenue, Elstree, Borehamwood, WD6 3SZ

+44 (0)203 613 9356

Guildford

BMI St Martha Oncology Centre, 46 Harvey Road, Guildford, GU1 3LX

+44 (0)1483 676 898

Maidstone

17 Kings Hill Avenue, Kings Hill, West Malling, ME19 4UA

+44 (0)1732 386 599

Milton Keynes

Sunrise Parkway, Linford Wood East, Milton Keynes, MK14 6LS

+44 (0)1908 448 166

Nottingham

The Park Centre for oncology, Sherwood Lodge Drive, Burntstump Country Park, Nottingham, NG5 8RX

+44 (0)1156 762 989

Oxford

Peters Way, Sandy Lane West, Oxford, OX4 6LB

+44 (0)1865 224 884

Portsmouth

Bartons Road, Havant, PO9 5NA

+44 (0)23 9280 0102

Southampton

Spire Hospital, Chalybeate Close, Southampton, SO16 6UY

+44 (0)238 008 5138

Windsor

69 Alma Road, Windsor, SL4 3HD

+44 (0)1753 465 493