The state-of-the-art Synergy system (Elekta Oncology Systems) installed here was the first in the UK and one of four worldwide to take part in a research consortium (along with centres in the Netherlands, Canada and the USA). It was used clinically for the first time in July 2003 when the Wade became the first centre in the world to generate 3D on treatment kV images of a patient.
The primary aims of the centre are to undertake technical radiotherapy research, implement new technologies and provide staff with time, education and opportunities to develop new ideas.
Our radiographers are an integral part of the research process, from developing protocols and strategies to the analysis of study data. They have expanded their role to be part of a fully multi-disciplinary team.
Working alongside North Western Medical Physics, departments of clinical oncology, the Academic Department of Radiation Oncology and the service department, the centre aims to implement change based on research and evidence-based practice. These changes are then translated into the mainstream service for the benefit of patients.
Using advanced imaging equipment available at only a limited number of sites worldwide, our development work concentrates on optimising image-guided radiotherapy. It also focuses on image quality and usability, the versatility and suitability of the system, and maintaining and reducing additional doses to the patient.
The role of the research radiographer includes education and training in the multidisciplinary team and, to this end, ensures their knowledge and expertise is disseminated throughout the UK and Europe through presentations at numerous conferences, organising nationally approved study days and written publications.