Current research into radiotherapy
Help beat cancer sooner
Our life-saving work relies on the money you give us.
Donate now and together we can save more lives by beating cancer sooner.
Saving lives through research
Many cancer patients receive radiotherapy as part of their treatment. Our scientists are working to make it even more effective and to reduce its side effects. Below are some examples of what our researchers are doing right now.
Our current researchers
Leading radiotherapy clinical trials
In London, Dr Mark Gaze is leading clinical trials to improve treatment for neuroblastoma. In one study, he is testing whether a radiotherapy technique called ‘intensity modulated arc therapy’ can safely deliver higher doses of radiotherapy to the tumour. This could make treatment work better and have fewer side effects.
Comparing 4 types of radiotherapy
Professor Emma Hall in London is working with a team of clinical investigators on a clinical trial to compare four different types of radiotherapy in prostate cancer. She hopes to find out which works best as a treatment for patients who are at high-risk of their cancer spreading. The trial tackles the disease on two fronts by targeting both the prostate and pelvic area with radiotherapy, and by boosting treatment to the tumour itself. The main aim of the trial is to reduce the chances of the cancer coming back.
Combining radiotherapy and immunotherapy
Professor Tim Illidge in Manchester is pioneering new radiotherapy and immunotherapy treatments for cancer, including non Hodgkin lymphoma. Specifically, his group are studying if radiotherapy treatments could be improved by combining them with immunotherapy. He hopes that using these two treatments side-by-side will be more powerful than either on their own and improve outcomes for patients.
Increasing the precision of radiotherapy
When women with cervical cancer are given radiotherapy, the healthy tissue surrounding the tumour is at risk of being damaged. Professor Uwe Oelfke in Sutton is looking at using scans to make radiotherapy more precise, so that it only targets the tumour and leaves healthy tissue untouched.
Making radiotherapy more effective
Dr Emma Harris in London is working to guide radiotherapy treatment to target the tumour more precisely using ultrasound. She hopes by 'mapping' how organs shift in the body with ultrasound, such as when the patient breathes, she could adjust the radiotherapy beams to closely track the tumour and help doctors make the treatment more effective.