Radiotherapy cancer treatment - from the film age to the space age

Posted by ap507 at Oct 11, 2016 12:53 PM |
Free public lecture in memory of space research pioneer at University of Leicester on Wednesday 19 October

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 11 October 2016

The University of Leicester is to host a free public lecture on how imaging has transformed radiotherapy cancer treatment - from the film age to the space age.

The third George Fraser Memorial Lecture is to be held on Wednesday 19 October 2016 at 5:30 pm in the Rattray Lecture Theatre on campus. It will be delivered by Professor Phil Evans, of the University of Surrey.

Radiotherapy is a highly successful treatment for cancer, playing an important role for many of the common cancers. In modern cancer care 40% of patients receive radiotherapy as part of their treatment. As cancer treatment has evolved to be more accurate, imaging has become an ever more essential part of the process, helping to plan the treatment and allowing verification, to make sure the treatment is delivered as accurately and effectively as possible.

X-ray beams have been the mainstay of cancer treatment and the first approaches to verification were to use film to image the x-ray beams. Advances in physics, engineering and materials science have meant that new types of electronic detectors have become available for imaging. These are often based on technologies from nuclear, particle physics and space physics. The requirements of both the detectors and the images produced share many features with those of space physics.

This talk will present the development of radiotherapy and its associated imaging in the last 30 years and show how the field has been transformed by technological developments. Examples presented will include electronic detectors and concepts such as treatment-time imaging, cone-beam computed tomography and transit dosimetry. The presentation will explore the imaging challenges for new treatment approaches as they are developed, such as intensity modulated and proton beam radiotherapy.

Professor George Fraser, who was Director of the Space Research Centre at the University of Leicester, died suddenly on 18 March 2014. He was one of the world’s leading experts in the field of X-ray astronomy and worked on several space missions, including Beagle 2 to Mars and BepiColombo to Mercury.

Details and registration information can be found at:


More information on Professor Fraser:

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