£2.5 million invested in cancer treatments on Teesside

James Cook Cancer Institute leads Credit: South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

More than £2.5million is being invested in cancer treatments at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is investing £2.5million in a replacement linear accelerator which is used for radiotherapy, and almost £180,000 in new brachytherapy equipment with advanced technology.

The new equipment will help the James Cook Cancer Institute clinicians to continue their pioneering work in tackling cancer.

The replacement linear accelerator is due come into operation in May and the new brachytherapy equipment in the summer of 2022.

Lead clinicians at the James Cooke Cancer Institute

Claire Huntley, radiotherapy clinical lead, said: “We are the specialist centre for cancer diagnostics, treatment and care for more than 1.5 million people across Teesside, North Yorkshire and beyond and provide radiotherapy for more to more than 3,000 patients from across our region every year.

“This new equipment will help to make sure we continue to offer some of the most advanced and cutting-edge treatment methods delivered by our oncology unit which is recognised as a pioneering centre.”

What is brachytherapy?

Brachytherapy is a form of radiotherapy where a sealed radioactive source is placed inside or next to the area requiring treatment.

The radioactive source is transported inside the body using a computer-controlled wire through small flexible tubes.

The closeness of the radioactive source to the treatment site means a high dose of radiation can be delivered while limiting the dose to surrounding tissue.

What are linear accelerators?

Linear accelerators are used in radiotherapy treatment of cancer patients. They produce high-energy x-rays or electrons, directed to the patient's tumour precisely following their treatment plan.

High-tech x-ray images are taken which are then used to plan and personalise each patients' radiotherapy treatment.

With millimetre accuracy, they target the tumour and minimise the dose to the 'normal' tissues that surround the tumour.