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RadPro 365 Live News-Zone for August 2020

News-Zone Focus

Innovations in Radiotherapy

Our leading monthly industry profile of the latest innovative products and services in radiotherapy. 
IntraOp and Ohio State Announce Collaboration in FLASH
IntraOp Medical Corporation has delivered its pre-clinical, high-dose rate electron beam linear accelerator to The Ohio State University Comprehensive James Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) for the study of FLASH radiotherapy. The system was purchased by the OSUCCC – James and is the first IntraOp FLASH system delivered to a U.S Institution with confirmed capabilities of delivering dose rates of over 600 Gy per second delivered in 6 and 9 MeV.
Pre-clinical testing has demonstrated that FLASH radiotherapy has a number of biological benefits and an improved therapeutic index by producing a protective effect for normal tissue. This technology represents a paradigm shift in the field of oncology with the potential to both expand and improve the role of radiation therapy in the treatment of cancer patients.
Read more

For more information contact IntraOp

 Social Media Spotlight

We highlight some of the most popular and interesting tweets of the month, click on the tweet to go to their feed.
PTW is on LinkedIn
PTW offers the widest range of detectors for all applications in radiation therapy - not sure which one is best for your needs?
Our Detector Selector will help you make your decision. Choose from 28 typical applications and get a selection of the most suitable detectors

News-Zone comment and analysis

Monthly Blog

A radiographer’s life. A 40-year career in radiotherapy.

The August blog written for RadPro by Duncan Hynd 

Britain’s Covid19 Cancer Crisis explored

Something critical is happening in our field of cancer care before our very eyes but not it seems in the full glare of the media in the way coronavirus has been covered.
Read more

Question of the month

Should IORT be rolled out in the NHS as a “Covid19 safe” treatment for carefully selected, early stage breast cancer patients?
Breast cancer: One-dose radiotherapy 'as effective as full course'

A single targeted dose of radiotherapy could be as effective at treating breast cancer as a full course, a long-term study suggests.
Researchers said people who received the shorter treatment were also less likely to die of other cancers and heart disease in the following five years.
Read more
You can take part in our twitter survey on this subject here

Did you know? 

Did you know that well over 200,000 people have now signed this petition to stop unnecessary cancer deaths caused by the COVID disruptions and to save thousands of lives?
It’s not too late to make a difference and so please sign it if you work in radiotherapy or the cancer crisis is affecting you.
You may have seen Kelly’s story featured in a recent Panorama programme called ‘Britain’s Cancer Crisis’ which showed the extent of the problem. Experts are warning that as many as 35,000 cancer patients could die unnecessarily as a result of the impact of the pandemic on cancer services. Read more. 

Editor’s comment
The radiotherapy paradox – have we missed our vocation!
Just as we reach the peak of the UK’s cancer crisis with pressure to resume all radiotherapy treatments in the NHS with a huge backlog of patients due to resume screening, testing and treatment we still have staffing problems in our field. While GP referrals for cancer patients are likely to steeply rise now that people are less scared to leave home and with added state of the art radiotherapy treatment capacity desperately needed and planned, it has just been announced by the Society of Radiographers in their latest AAB report, that the attrition rate for Therapeutic Radiography students is still around the 25% mark. Last month we published in this section the overall NHS vacancy rate for the radiotherapy radiographer workforce was still just over 7%.

This just doesn’t add up and so unless the planned capacity increases are deferred or the workforce accepts what would be contentious alternative working schedules such as evenings and weekends, this problem is only going to get worse.
As we have discussed before, the private sector is ready and available to help and the NHS is in fact addressing this proactively now.

“NHS will give private hospitals up to £10billion over the next four years in a desperate effort to cut record-long waiting lists fuelled by coronavirus

Waiting lists have soared to record levels during the Covid-19 pandemic as a result of thousands of non-urgent operations being cancelled.
It comes amid concerns about delays to cancer care caused by coronavirus, which has led medics to warn survival rates will plummet”
Read more

The nettle of vocational training
I have long been an advocate for vocational training for the radiotherapy workforce running alongside the degree course with higher education, doctorates, consultant radiographers and others vitally important but this must not be do the detriment to the base of our profession where a not inconsiderable amount of students and newly qualified staff are seemingly going elsewhere to train or work.

Vocational training worked well in the past and still has an impact on our profession although as with me the remaining DCR trained staff are decreasing in larger numbers due to age and retirement! As I have said in my blog, I still recall being thrown in at the deep end when starting out as a student in the planning department only a week after arriving at the Middlesex Hospital and that simply training to be a radiographer, rather than obtaining a degree just suited me better. After all, many of my DCR colleagues and peers are still leading officers the Society of Radiographers, busy radiotherapy centre managers, heads of student training centres or have critical management and leadership roles in the NHS and Private sector and so it seems to have worked well in the past?

Has the “degree apprenticeship” stalled for therapeutic radiographers, if so I would be happy to be part of a national task force set up to look at attrition and retention issues and the best way forward or for the SCoR to use this forum to promote their updated plans if they wish, I am always available at the end of an email or mobile and happy to publish and share any new information with our readers.

With the recent “Exam-shambles” continuing to be hot news, I had some good feedback to my two tweets below that, I hope go some way to helping the cause, I know that some UK training centres retweeted these as did some leading companies and our readers but I hope that the issues with grades, can be turned into a positive for a career as a radiographer. It did for me!
Duncan Hynd - RadPro editor

RadPro TV

What we’re watching. We showcase selected videos of interest to our readers in radiotherapy from our partners.

Mevion Protontherapy Treatment Center Tour
Watch here:

UK and World News

What we’re reading. Our curated news feed
What we’re reading from partner companies in radiotherapy
Mevion Selected to Provide Proton Therapy System in Córdoba, Spain
Mevion Medical Systems is delighted to be selected to participate in the proton therapy initiative between the city of Córdoba in Andalusia, Spain, the Ministry of Health and Families of Andalusia, and the University of Córdoba to establish an alliance with the Andalusian Health Service and the University Institution
Read  more

Mercy Breaks Ground on Proton Therapy Center
With a turn of a shovel, and a blessing, construction began this month to bring proton therapy, a highly specialized, advanced form of radiation therapy to Mercy’s David C. Pratt Cancer Center. Read more

New treatment solution for U.S. cervical cancer patients now available for clinical use
Elekta's Geneva brachytherapy applicator cleared by U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Read more

RaySearch and TAE Life Sciences announce agreement on RayStation support for the Alphabeam System for BNCT
RaySearch Laboratories AB has entered into a licensing and distribution agreement with TAE Life Sciences, manufacturer of the Alphabeam™ System for boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT). Read more
What we’re reading in the press and international media, some selected, thought-provoking stories:
Skin cancer warning after 150% rise in UK deaths since 1970s
Cancer Research UK warns the vast majority of cases are linked to too much sun or using sunbeds. Read more

Radiotherapy administered inside the body for 30 minutes is 'as effective' as up to six weeks of conventional therapy for treating breast cancer, landmark study finds
The treatment - known as targeted intraoperative radiotherapy - also produced fewer side effects and did not affect patient’s chances of survival or risk of cancer returning compared to another common treatment. Read more

Radiotherapy to fix a dodgy heartbeat? We meet the first man in Britain to have had the treatment
Radiotherapy, normally used to treat cancer, is now being used to slow racing hearts. Read more

Acoustic imaging promises real-time dose measurement for FLASH radiotherapy
Ultrahigh dose rate radiation therapy (FLASH) is currently one of the hottest topics in radiotherapy research. Read more

Live Radiotherapy News App
Remember you can keep up to date with all the latest radiotherapy news on our home page ticker or on your mobile or tablet using our LIVE-NEWS APP here, just go to the bottom of the page here and upload.

Any other business

Our directory of upcoming events, training and CPD
Mevion Virtual Exhibition at ASTRO 2020
Oct 25-28, 2020

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