RADIOTHERAPY

 

WHERE TO FIND US

• The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
• MCRC building
• The University of Manchester

Radiation research in Manchester goes back a long way. Over 100 years ago, Ernest Rutherford split the atom at The University of Manchester, and in the 1930s Ralston Paterson, Herbert Parker and others developed a method for calculating radiotherapy dose that become known as the Manchester Method.

Our radiotherapy research now has a particular focus on image-guided radiotherapy, proton therapy, radiobiology, imaging, theragnostics and radiotherapy-immunotherapy combinations. Much of this is enabled by cutting-edge facilities at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust that include Stereotactic Ablative Body Radiotherapy, an MR-linac and a Proton Therapy Centre.

Manchester contributed to the introduction of image-guided, intensity modulated radiotherapy and stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy into routine clinical practice. Our researchers continue to study and improve the accuracy of image guidance and are now part of an international consortium to implement MR-guided radiotherapy, focusing on efficient adaptive radiotherapy workflows.

Our adaptive radiotherapy research is developing probabilistic planning, taking uncertainties explicitly into account in the plan optimisation process, and implementing our techniques in a research version of a clinical treatment planning system.

The theragnostics group takes a big data analytics approach and uses the large amounts of diagnostic, radiotherapy planning and outcome information now available. New developments in data mining and web technologies are being used to extract features that predict outcomes for future personalised radiotherapy. Distributed learning facilitates collaboration with other institutions.

Our proton therapy research aims to address all the main technological and scientific challenges of proton beam therapy, and demonstrate its clinical potential. Activity currently focuses on a number of key areas, using computational simulations, establishing a research room and developing clinical trials. Interests include biological optimisation, range verification, treatment planning, proton imaging, and accelerator development.

Within translational radiobiology, we are exploring molecular profiles that reflect relevant biological phenotypes, and predict tumour and normal tissue response to radiation. We have developed gene signatures that characterise hypoxia and enable the selection of patients who could benefit from hypoxia-modifying therapy.

Elsewhere we are investigating how combinations of radiotherapy and immune modulation can increase the efficacy and durability of immunotherapy. Our pre-clinical programmes run in parallel with early phase clinical trials combining radiotherapy with new agents including immunotherapy.

Our imaging researchers are developing, validating and applying image-derived biomarkers to assess the tumour microenvironment and therapeutic response. In particular, we have strength in novel techniques to determine tumour oxygenation and identify regions of hypoxia.

PEOPLE

Biology

Clinical Oncology

Radiology

Physics & Engineering

Project Managers

  • Rebecca Elliott
  • Zoe Lingard
  • Holly Summersgill