Radiotherapy delivered on a linear accelerator (sometimes termed linac) is a form of ‘external beam' radiotherapy delivered using high energy X-Rays (photons). The department is equipped with 4 modern Varian TrueBeam linear accelerators, with ‘6 degree of freedom’ treatment couches all with advanced imaging packages, including respiratory and organ motion management systems. We also have access to the music library to have music you like playing in the treatment room while your undergo your radiotherapy.
The Radiotherapy service at UCLH also has dedicated CT and access to PET-CT and MRI scanners in the diagnostic department which are used to plan your radiotherapy treatment.
External beam radiotherapy delivered using a linear accelerator uses a dose of high energy X-Rays precisely targeted at a tumour or treatment target, whilst reducing the dose to surrounding healthy tissues and vital organs.
Treatment times will vary, depending on the area treated and your specific treatment position. A lot of the time will be spent putting you into the correct position. You will be asked to remove clothing that covers the area being treated, and then lie on a couch in the same position you were planned in. Using the marks made at your pre-treatment appointment, the radiographers will move the couch and the treatment machine into position.
Each treatment lasts a few minutes and the Linear Accelerator (Linac) makes a buzzing noise when it is switched on. You will not see/feel anything during treatment.
UCLH currently offers high energy X-ray Linear Accelerator Treatment for all common cancer sites but also is a for a number of more specialist treatments including:
- Stereotactic Radiosurgery – for brain cancers
- Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy – for lung and sites of metastatic disease
- Image guided and adaptive radiotherapy
- Motion management technique’s including Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (for breast cancer) Coached Breathing (for lung cancer) and Abdominal Compression (for abdominal sites)
- Total body irradiation
- Being the UK’s largest provider of paediatric radiotherapy services
- Being the largest UK based provider for teenage young adult and Sarcoma services
We also offer a wide range active clinical trials.