NNUH clinicians write key cancer textbook

A key cancer textbook used by doctors around the world has been updated by cancer clinicians at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital's Colney Centre for Oncology.

The fourth edition of Practical Radiotherapy Planning has just been published and is authored by NNUH consultant oncologist Ann Barrett, Professor Emeritus of Oncology, University of East Anglia, and Tom Roques, Consultant Oncologist at NNUH, Jane Dobbs, Consultant Emeritus in Clinical Oncology, Guy's and St Thomas', Stephen Morris Consultant Oncologist, Guy's and St Thomas', and illustrated by Jonathan Harrowven, lead treatment radiographer at NNUH.

The book is regarded as a key textbook for clinical staff planning the delivery of radiotherapy treatments for cancers. The new edition comes 10 years after the third edition and takes into account the many advances that have been made in recent years with the diagnostics used to locate, map and treat tumours.

Prof Ann Barrett said: “The state-of-the art equipment at NNUH has given us the opportunity to make improvements in radiotherapy treatments which we have been able to describe in this textbook and illustrate with images from radiotherapy planning. The book is used by radiotherapy doctors throughout the world and its publication will probably lead to many requests to visit our department”.

Radiotherapy is a treatment that uses high energy x-rays and other similiar types of radiation. The machines used at NNUH to generate and deliver the radiation are ultra powerful and sophisticated versions of the diagnostic machines used in hospital x-ray departments. The Colney Centre at NNUH uses two types of machine:

  • Linear Accelerator machines (produce megavoltage beams of x-rays which penetrate more deeply into the body)
  • The Gulmay machine (produces a range of lower energy superficial and orthovoltage x-rays)

Radiotherapy may be used alone or with other treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and hormones. Radiation cannot be seen or felt and the treatment is completely painless.

Treating a tumour with radiation causes changes in the cells that stop them from growing. The dose of radiation is worked out so that tumour cells are destroyed but healthy cells are able to repair and recover. Treatment is carefully planned so that the effect on healthy cells is kept to a minimum.

Practical Radiotherapy Planning is published by Hodder Arnold.

Friday 7th of August 2009 09:00:05 AM