Click here to view my slides from my presentations at the International Conference of Medical Physics held in Brighton in 2013.
PhD student at University College London, working on the absolute calibration of proton treatment planning systems using proton radiography.
1. Commitment – Always commit to your decisions. 2. Sticks and Carrots – I am motivated by the stick, not the carrot. Know what motivates you and use it. I need to set deadlines, you may need to receive rewards. 3. Weaknesses and Fears – Taking on a PhD makes you see the worst in […]
Dr Robin Hesketh is a fellow at the University of Cambridge, and like me, a member of Selwyn College. Dr Heketh is a scientist who has worked all his life in research institutes and universities and for 25 years has worked in the biochemistry department at Cambridge. His major research area is the development of strategies for the treatment of cancer and he lectures in various undergraduate courses on cell and molecular biology and cancer. He is also the author of ‘Betrayed by Nature‘ which describes the history of cancer research, cancer biology and methods of detection and treatment.
Dr Hesketh has kindly posted an entry I have written about Radiotherapy on his blog titled A Radiant Visitor.
The NHS grew out of the devastation of the second world war and is for many thought of with pride as a ‘testimony to human altruism’. In Cambridge I am continuously impressed by the diversity of students that come to study here. I enjoy observing our differences and our similarities, and learning of other cultures and […]
Oncology PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge researching optimisation in plan robustness in proton beam therapy whilst working to obtain state registration as a clinical scientist in the NHS.
Conventionally, radiotherapy uses high energy X-rays with the aim of delivering a sufficient dose of radiation to a tumour to achieve a high probability of cure, whilst minimizing the probability of healthy tissue damage.
The nature of protons makes this aim, of cure without complication, more achievable.
Unlike X-rays, protons have a finite range (we can choose where they stop) which reduces the amount of radiation exposure to the patient. Proton therapy is beneficial for a variety of cancers, especially spine and brain tumours in adults and most cancers in children. It is specifically attractive in treating childhood cancer. In children proton radiotherapy decreases the likelihood of growth and health complications, and the chance of developing cancer again early on in life.
Despite the UK currently lacking the facilities necessary to treat cancer using proton therapy, a limited number of NHS patients are currently offered proton radiotherapy abroad as part of the NHS Proton Overseas Programme.
The Government announced in April 2012 that two proton centres will be established in England, one in Manchester and one in London. It is hoped that these will start to treat patients by early 2018.
Therefore, England will need expertise to develop and run clinical proton deliveries. However, despite the number of proton facilities available worldwide increasing rapidly there is a lack of required expertise in the form of experienced oncologists, dosimetrists and physicists.
Early 1960′s: After the proposal of proton therapy by Wilson in 1946, Cormack postulated in 1963 that protons could be used for tomography. This is based on an energy-loss form of radiography (images are produced based on measurements of the proton energy and position), with high contrast a consequence of the …