Virtual reality cancer treatment on World Radiography Day

To help mark World Radiography Day on November 8 members of the public and NHS staff are being invited to try their hand at a virtual reality system used to train radiographers that treat cancer with high-dose radiation at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

The Radiotherapy department located in the Colney Centre is celebrating ‘World Radiography Day’ on Monday the 8th of November by promoting treatment radiographers and the role they play in radiotherapy delivery through the use of a Virtual Environment in Radiotherapy Training equipment (also known as VERT).

For the day the latest VERT equipment will be set up and running in the radiotherapy Mould Room area adjacent to the main radiotherapy corridor in the Colney Centre at NNUH.

The VERT equipment with be demonstrating how radiotherapy targets tumours using high energy x-rays and radiographers will be on hand to explain the technical and complex nature of radiotherapy used at NNUH. VERT offers a unique insight into seeing how radiotherapy works using advanced 3-D projections and computer modelling.

Radiotherapy patients and visitors will be able to see how radiotherapy is used to treat specific areas of the body. Our patients are encouraged to bring along their friends and relatives to see how radiotherapy works. Children, teenagers and especially those individuals interested in radiography and radiotherapy physics related careers are also welcome to attend any of the sessions. In addition hospital staff who are interested in this area are also welcome to attend.

The cancer centre at NNUH has some of the very latest hi-tech radiotherapy equipment in Europe. In early 2005 the department started an IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy) programme and this is now routine treatment for those patients who require it.

This means radiographers who deliver the radiation treatment can more precisely target and the shape the radiation dose to the tumour site. The department was also the first in the UK and only the second in the world to commission portal dosimetry as the technique for individual patient quality assurance of IMRT treatment.

In 2009

  • The department upgraded its network and treatment planning systems to the latest software available from Varian, known as Aria.
  • On Board Imaging (OBI) for Image Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT) was commissioned on Linear Accelerator 3 (LA3).

    In 2010
  • The oldest linear accelerator, the LA4, has been replaced and has been commissioned
  • The new LA4 has high energy electron beams as well as 6 and 10MV photon beams and OBI.
  • The oncology treatment planning CT scanner has been replaced with a new CT scanner and has been commissioned
  • The new CT scanner has 4D respiratory gating which is currently being commissioned
  • Rapidarc, a method of enhanced IMRT treatment, is being commissioned on the linear accelerators.

Friday 5th of November 2010 11:00:04 AM