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RadPro 365 Live News-Zone for September 2020

News-Zone Focus

Innovations in Radiotherapy

Our leading monthly industry profile of the latest innovative products and services in radiotherapy.
 This month we focus on the new PTW RUBY system – a new “end2end” phantom.
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Contact details: Neil Robinson, Technical Manager PTW-UK. Email:

 Social Media Spotlight

Tweets of the Month from partner companies

PTW is on LinkedIn

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 

Recession proof careers to Flash-RT, does radiotherapy really have a holy grail or should we be careful what we wish for?

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Question of the month

Q. What has a Penguin got to do with the latest Elekta Linear Accelerator?
A. Balance is critical to emperor penguins and their babies. Without it, they would freeze. And to us, balance is as critical in the clinic as it is in nature.
Find out more here

Did you know? 

Black holes can “wobble”?
History-making black hole seen to do a shimmy!
Matter, heated to billions of degrees, twists and turns through what are intense magnetic fields. And as it does so, the region of brightness seen in the black hole's encircling ring of gas appears to wobble.
Read more

Editor’s comment
In a letter to the Telegraph on the 5th September, NHS England's Medical Director Stephen Powis claims the "NHS is back in action" and that in the first wave of coronavirus 85,000 people had cancer treatment and 10m had urgent tests and checks, to justify NHS performance during lockdown and in reply to letters to the editor that complained that there was a lack of urgency in rescheduling NHS services, tests and scans.   
Recently, on September 10th Matt Hancock, UK Health Minister announced in Westminster that radiotherapy services in England were now back to pre-pandemic levels to general astonishment in our field of radiotherapy.
However, Tim Farron MP has now highlighted that cancer services would have to run at 135% capacity for six months in order to clear the backlog caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
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These events show what seems to be lack of understanding of the collateral damage being done to cancer patients when the Government’s seemingly sole focus is on suppressing this virus to the detriment of all other health care sectors.
Recent analysis by the CRUK found a 2.4m shortfall in screening, referrals and treatment for cancer over a 10-week period from the start of lockdown compared with normal levels of activity. Cancer screening accounts for the bulk of the drop, with around 2.1m people left waiting for breast, bowel or cervical screening.
The “CatchUpWithCancer” campaign is now beginning to gather traction with the UK Health Minister agreeing to meet with them but the recent return to further lockdown restrictions will put this progress at risk. You can find out more about this initiative here.
Read more

Without any formal Government edict to the population to get cancer symptoms checked and see their GP (if they are actually able to meet one face to face) this “get checked” mantra is still being driven largely by oncologists, charities and patients on social media.
In 2020 this is cannot be right when cancer patient outcomes here still lag behind other EU countries, Twitter essentially becomes the front line when it comes to fighting for these patients.

RadPro TV

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

Mevion Treatment Center Tour
Watch here:
Innovations in Non-Invasive Skin Cancer Treatment for Improved Cosmetic Outcomes

UK and World News

What we’re reading. Our curated news feed
What we’re reading from partner companies in radiotherapy
RayStation in clinical use at both of Spain’s proton centers
RaySearch Laboratories AB (publ) has announced that RayStation® is now in clinical use at the two proton centers currently established in Spain: Quirónsalud and Clínica Universidad de Navarra.
The two centers have invested in cutting-edge medical technology and software for proton therapy – an advanced, high-precision form of radiation therapy which is gaining ground as a treatment method for certain types of tumors. Both centers aim to give patients access to the best possible cancer care locally, thereby eliminating the need to travel abroad for proton therapy.
Read more.

Mevion Medical Systems and Proton International announced today that they have signed a two-system contract to bring Mevion’s compact proton therapy solution to new centers in locations to be announced in South Texas and the Southeast United States.
The new centers will feature the MEVION S250i Proton Therapy Systemâ with HYPERSCANâ Pencil Beam Scanning (PBS). HYPERSCAN enables faster and sharper delivery of therapeutic radiation to tumors. The system’s leading-edge clinical capabilities, combined with its compact, affordable design, and industry-leading ramp-up time, has changed the landscape of proton therapy. Today, more cancer centers are considering providing compact proton therapy to their patients because of the technology Mevion has advanced.
Read more.

Elekta introduces new radiotherapy solution to help address worldwide cancer burden
Elekta today introduced its Elekta Harmony linear accelerator, a cancer treatment system designed to meet healthcare centres need for a productive, precise and versatile radiotherapy treatment system. Harmony perfectly balances productivity, versatility and precision without compromise, making it a solution for both mature and developing markets.
Read more.
What we’re reading in the press and international media, some selected, thought-provoking stories:
'Like having a tooth out': High-speed radiotherapy cured a mother-of-two's breast cancer in 30 minutes - so why are doctors still unsure of it?
The treatment, known as targeted intraoperative radiotherapy, or Targit-iort, is carried out during surgery to remove the tumour. Once the lump is out, a single 20- to 30-minute blast of radiotherapy is delivered using a small, ball-shaped device, which is placed directly inside the incision in the breast where the cancer was.
Read more.

600+ km trek across the Himalayas for cancer therapy
I started work on 17 January 2020 at the BP Koirala Memorial Cancer Hospital in Nepal as a fresh radiation oncology physicist, having graduated from the Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy, just a month before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. I was the first clinical medical physicist to be given an appointment from the Ministry of Health and Population to work in Nepal.
Read more. 

CERN and Lausanne University Hospital collaborate on a pioneering new cancer radiotherapy facility
CERN and the Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV), in Switzerland, are collaborating to develop the conceptual design of an innovative radiotherapy facility, used for cancer treatment. The facility will capitalise on CERN breakthrough accelerator technology applied to a technique called FLASH radiotherapy, which delivers high-energy electrons to treat tumours.
Read more.

Can a balloon protect prostate cancer patients during radiation treatment?
Israeli biotech startup BioProtect has raised $25 million in a Series D financing round for an ongoing clinical trial of its bioabsorbable polymer spacer balloon, the company announced Monday.
Read more. 

Adding Immunotherapy to Radiotherapy Increases Survival in Patients with Brain Metastases
The addition of immunotherapy to radiotherapy to treat patients with cancer who had brain metastases was associated with an improved overall survival for patients, compared to radiotherapy alone.
Read more. 

Lives at risk in cancer research cash crisis: 1,500 scientists face sack in £450m cutbacks
BRITAIN'S biggest cancer charity could be forced to sack 1,500 scientists because of a Covid funding crisis. Cancer Research UK could lose more than a third of its 4,000 researchers, potentially putting tens of thousands of lives at risk.
Read more. 

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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