Our policy on radiotherapy

Radiotherapy plays a major role in curing cancer, but the service needs more support. This is why we are championing improvements to radiotherapy in the UK.

Recent advances in radiotherapy have helped to minimise side-effects and target radiation precisely at tumours, achieved using cutting-edge imaging and computing technology. Research is helping us to understand how to make radiotherapy even more effective.

Cancer Research UK has consistently called for greater access to the latest innovations in radiotherapy, with notable success.

In 2012-13 we helped the Government distribute £23 million to improve the service across England through the Radiotherapy Innovation Fund (RIF). The Government has since announced further investments in the service. Further to this we published the joint Vision for Radiotherapy 2014-24 with NHS England, setting out what we believe the service should be providing for patients within the next 10 years.

But our work is not over.

Public awareness of the benefits of radiotherapy is still not as high as we want it to be, and we know that there are still challenges to overcome if the UK is to have a truly world-class radiotherapy service. Cancer Research UK is actively working with Government and health departments, members of the radiotherapy service and patients to make this a reality.

We support the Radiotherapy Awareness Programme (RAP), a partnership of charities, professional bodies, patients and NHS representatives which aims to raise patient and public awareness of the benefits of radiotherapy (further details below).


Cancer Research UK principles for supporting radiotherapy research in England

January 2016

Download briefing [PDF]

Radiotherapy awareness

July 2012

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Radiotherapy commissioning

July 2012

Download briefing [PDF]

Radiotherapy equipment

July 2012

Download briefing [PDF]


Vision for Radiotherapy 2014-2024

March 2014

Download report [PDF]

Recommendations for achieving a world-class radiotherapy service in the UK

May 2014

Download report [external website]

Improving radiotherapy services to save more lives

August 2013

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The Radiotherapy Innovation Fund – An evaluation of the Prime Minister’s £23 million Fund 

July 2013

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Achieving a world-class radiotherapy service across the UK

July 2009

Download executive summary [PDF]

Download report [PDF]


The future of radiotherapy: response to NHS England specialised services 5-year strategy consultation

January 2014

Download response [PDF]

Review of access to medical technologies in Wales

October 2013

Download response [PDF]

APPGC Cancer across the domains

August 2012

Download response [PDF]

Access to medical technologies in Wales: consultation on terms of reference

October 2012

Download response [PDF]

Radiotherapy Awareness Programme

Cancer Research UK currently provides secretariat support to the Radiotherapy Awareness  Programme (RAP), a collaborative of charities, professional bodies, patients and representatives from the NHS with an interest in increasing public and patient awareness of the benefits of radiotherapy. RAP was established in 2010 (as the National Radiotherapy Awareness Initiative) following recommendations from the 2009 Achieving a world class radiotherapy service in the UK report. The group worked together on the Year of Radiotherapy in 2011.

RAP is chaired by Dr Diana Tait (link is external), Consultant Clinical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden.

For further information please contact rose.gray@cancer.org.uk

Members of RAP include individual patient and service representatives, as well as the following organisations:


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