Current research into radiotherapy
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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
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 researching how radiotherapy could be combined with immunotherapy, a relatively new type of cancer treatment that harnesses the power of the body’s immune system to fight cancer. He is studying how these treatments work together in the lab, and hopes these insights could lead to new combination treatments being tested in clinical trials for various different types of cancer.
Increasing the precision of radiotherapy
Professor Uwe Oelfke, based in Sutton, originally trained in nuclear physics but is now researching ways to make radiotherapy more precise. Using the latest advances in physics, engineering and computer science, he is developing new technologies that shape beams of radiation more accurately to patients’ tumours, making this treatment more effective, with fewer side effects.
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.