New North Mid radiotherapy machine to help speed up cancer treatment

The arrival of a new linear accelerator machine will help speed up cancer treatment at the Edmonton hospital

The new radiography scanner at North Middlesex Hospital
The new radiography scanner at North Middlesex Hospital

A new “state-of-the-art” radiotherapy machine providing “faster results with high accuracy and more convenience to patients” has been unwrapped at North Middlesex University Hospital – just in time for Christmas.

The new linear accelerator machine, called Halcyon Linac, can deliver a computed tomography (CT) scan and treat cancer patients within ten to 15 minutes, significantly faster than North Mid’s other radiotherapy machines. The machine is designed to achieve high-quality care by providing rapid image-guided radiotherapy, allowing radiographers to treat patients quickly “with millimetre precision”.

What this could mean for patients is an experience that includes shorter treatment times and a “calmer, quieter, less intimidating atmosphere” in the treatment room.

The machine is also designed to improve the experience of clinical staff with its simplified set up. This allows therapeutic radiographers to focus on precision through image guidance to “ensure accurate pinpoint treatments”, while also allowing them to spend more time with patients assessing symptoms and wellbeing.

Chris Stacey, head of radiotherapy physics at North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, plus head of radiotherapy Sharif Shaykhoun, said: “The installation of our new Halcyon Linac will bring additional leading-edge, technical radiotherapy for our cancer patients, while adding innovation and efficiencies to the cancer pathway.

“The streamlined workflow will enable shorter treatment times, improved patient experience, and greater treatment capacity in the radiotherapy service. This development is indicative of our ambition and direction, and of the trust’s commitment to advancing world-class radiotherapy to our local population and beyond.

“It is an important step on the path to fully adaptive radiotherapy and a significant addition to our service at North Mid.”

Halcyon has also been hailed for its energy-saving potential. The typical electrical usage for the Halcyon is about half that of a standard high-energy linear accelerator, resulting in low electricity consumption.

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