Commissioning of a second TrueBeam linear accelerator to provide the latest in radiotherapy treatments came a step closer this week as the £2 million machine was delivered to the Sunrise Centre at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro
Installation of the new TrueBeam is part of RCHT’s clinical site development programme and its capabilities are being further enhanced thanks to a major donation from the Sunrise Appeal.
The Appeal has raised in excess of £2.3 million since it was launched and its major grants have been the £500,000 when the Sunrise Centre was first built and a further £646,000 in upgrading the first TrueBeam in 2011.
Consultant oncologist, Dr Toby Talbot, said: "The second TrueBeam will make a massive difference. It will mean that every one of our patients will have access to the cutting edge treatment these machines can offer."
The TrueBeam linear accelerator is able to target tumours more precisely than conventional radiotherapy machines, meaning the specialists at the hospital can plan treatments to minimise damage to tissue and organs surrounding tumours, cut down treatment times and consequently lower radiation doses. It is also able to follow a patient’s breathing pattern to precisely target treatment as the body moves.
The Sunrise Appeal is contributing £460,000 to the project which will enable the oncology team to purchase hi-tech tilting couches, one of the new TrueBeam and another for the existing machine. These will bring a new dimension to the way in which patients can be positioned during their treatment.
Appeal treasurer, Tony Hill said, “Thanks to the generosity of the people of Cornwall we are in a very fortunate position of being able to support RCHT in ensuring the clinical oncology department continues to be a centre of excellence and that the people of Cornwall will be able to receive the most up to date treatment available from within the County.”
Over recent months work has been underway to dismantle the original machine and make the necessary alterations for the new TrueBeam. The highly complex piece of equipment will need a comprehensive programme of calibration and testing to make sure it is delivering radiotherapy treatments with pinpoint accuracy.
It is due to be ready to treat the first patients towards the end of the Summer.
If you would like to support the Sunrise Appeal you can make a donation online via JustGiving: ‘The Royal Cornwall Hospitals Clinical Oncology and Cancer Care Appeal’ or contact the Appeals office 01872 252627.