Cancer Tsar opens Colney Centre

Professor Mike Richards, national cancer director, will tomorrow formally open the state-of-the-art cancer centre at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

The hospital’s Colney Centre for Oncology and Haematology started admitting East Anglian patients in December 2002 and offers world-class facilities, including £20 million of new medical equipment, for cancer and haematology treatment.

The new Colney Centre offers the very latest forms of radiotherapy, including IMRT (intensity modulated radiation therapy). Varian Medical Systems, Inc has equipped the hospital with four state-of-the-art linear accelerators, CT scanner and treatment simulator, and afterloading facilities for high dose rate brachytherapy.

The equipment not only offers an advanced range of treatments but also reduces some patient treatment times from many hours, down to minutes. It also provides software for processing images, and planning radiation treatments.

Professor Ann Barrett, the hospital’s lead clinician for cancer, said: “We are very privileged to have someone of Professor Richards’ stature to formally open the tremendous new facilities we have here for East Anglian cancer patients.”

Professor Richards will also be meeting staff from the Norfolk and Waveney Cancer Network during his visit. Dr David Ellis, lead clinician for the network; said; ”In recent years a great deal of collaborative work has gone on locally to improve cancer care at all levels and it’s great for staff to have the opportunity to meet Professor Richards and let him see what we’ve been doing.”

Notes to editors:

Professor Mike Richards qualified as a doctor in 1977. In 1986 he was appointed a senior lecturer in Medical Oncology in the ICRF Breast Unit at Guy’s Hospital. In 1995 he took up the chair of Palliative Medicine at St Thomas. In October 1999 he was appointed national cancer director.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital opened in November 2001 and is a £229 million development. In September 2002 the hospital became one of the first new teaching hospitals in the country for more than 30 years in a joint venture with the University of East Anglia (UEA).


Oncology – the study and practice of treating tumours (both benign and cancerous)

Haematology – the study and practice of treating blood disorders

Radiotherapy – treatment of disease (esp. cancers) with penetrating radiation aimed at a diseased area/s

IMRT – Intensely Modulated Radiation Therapy – radiation therapy that can be finely adjusted to size and shape of the affected area.

Linear accelerator – a machine that speeds up particles to produce high-energy radiation

Treatment simulator – a machine used for the precise positioning of patients for treatment.

Brachytherapy – radiation therapy by placing radioactive grains or wires into or close to a tumour

CT scanner – Computerised Tomography – specialised form of X-ray that rotates round the patient and maps cross sections of the body

Tuesday 2nd of September 2003 03:00:43 PM