Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy destroys the DNA inside cancer cells to prevent them from reproducing, by using high-energy beams (X-Rays) or radiation.

Radiotherapy can be used to destroy tumours, to shrink tumours before surgery, or to kill off remaining cancer cells after surgery or chemotherapy. It is also used to treat the symptoms and control the spread of cancer.

Our radiotherapy partnership with GenesisCare, means that we can offer some of the most advanced radiotherapy treatments available today, including Gamma Knife Icon for brain and spinal tumours and Varian Edge for all tumour types, including stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) for all body sites.

The centre, housed on-site at Cromwell Hospital, will also include the MRIdian MR Linac, a state-of-the-art system that combines an MRI scanner with a radiotherapy machine. This makes it possible to treat inoperable tumours in the liver, pancreas and other organs with extreme precision, as well as reducing treatment time for other cancers by more than half and minimising side effects.

Types of radiotherapy

  • External beam radiotherapy: x-rays given from outside your body, using a radiotherapy machine.
  • Internal radiotherapy: a small amount of radioactive material is placed inside your body to treat cancers in your internal organs.

Both types can be given as outpatient procedures, or are carried out as part of wider inpatient cancer treatments.

Other advancements

Together with advanced radiotherapy technologies, the centre also includes innovative organ-sparing treatment, advanced computer imaging and sophisticated AI planning systems, which means personalised treatment plans can be started within days of diagnosis for all cancer types.

Varian Edge state-of-the-art radiotherapy

The Varian Edge provides very precise radiotherapy. It is designed for stereotactic brain and spinal radiosurgery, as well as stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) which is used for small tumours elsewhere in the body and Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy, a highly versatile treatment for a wide range of cancer types.

Gamma Knife Icon radiosurgery

Despite the name, Gamma Knife Icon treatment does not involve surgery. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is an effective treatment for single and multiple brain metastases, which can occur as secondary tumours in patients with cancers such as melanoma, breast and lung cancers. SRS uses powerful beams of radiation to destroy cancer cells in a few short treatments. It is often called ‘brain-sparing’ surgery because of its ability to protect healthy brain tissue and preserve quality of life in people needing treatment for brain tumours.

The new Gamma Knife Icon is one of the most advanced systems for this type of intracranial (brain) surgery.

Gamma Knife Icon is also used to treat benign brain tumours such as meningiomas, acoustic neuromas and primary pituitary tumours and other non-cancerous brain conditions.

MRIdian MRI-guided radiotherapy

The MRI-Guided Linac is a technological step change in radiotherapy that significantly improves outcomes through more precise targeting of tumours, including those of the pancreas, liver, lung, prostate and breast. The MRIdian is a state-of-the-art system that combines an MRI scanner with a radiotherapy machine. For most patients, it will reduce the number of treatment sessions by half.

The MRIdian will be available from early 2021, we will be the first hospital in London to offer this service outside of a research study.

Find out more about the MRIdian >

Why choose us?

  • Advanced radiotherapy offered as standard through our partners GenesisCare – the UK’s leading private providers of radiotherapy
  • Extensive team – your consultant will work with our expert radiotherapists, nurses and other specialists as part of multidisciplinary teams throughout the hospital.
  • State-of-the-art diagnostic imaging – including onsite MRI, PET/CT, and CT reported by specialist radiologists.
  • Fully equipped to diagnose and treat a diverse range of cancers including complex cases.
  • Complementary wellbeing therapies for radiotherapy patients, in partnership with Penny Brohn UK
  • Personalised exercise medicine programme tailored to radiotherapy patients for their treatment
  • Central London location – easily accessible by train and The London Underground.

"I would like to thank everyone at Cromwell Hospital for the fantastic way you looked after me. I could not fault anyone during the time I spent with you - from the point I arrived in reception, to the catering team and every member of staff throughout the changes of shift during my stay."

Anonymous, Cromwell Hospital patient

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