Radiotherapy Related Research

Including proton, photon and MR-Linac research

The Christie Oak Road

Radiotherapy involves the the use of photon or charged particle beams to kill cancer cells, and is a very effective treatment with nearly 50% of people receiving a form of radiotherapy at some point during cancer treatment. Radiotherapy related research is a large and active field in Manchester, with groups investigating new technologies and treatments that can be used to improve the accuracy of beams leading to fewer side effects, as well as investigate new treatment combinations to improve outcomes for patients with cancer.

Research Heritage

Radiotherapy research in Manchester dates back over 100 years and is the birthplace of nuclear physics. Pioneer Nuclear Physicist and 1908 Nobel Prize winner Ernest Rutherford performed his pivotal experiments in Manchester between 1914 and 1919 becoming the first person to create an artificial nuclear reaction in laboratories at the university. His discovery established the idea of atomic structure and would be pivotal to later research into the use of radiation in treatments.

Manchester is also home to many other radiotherapy research world-leading or practice-influencing discoveries. The Manchester Method used to calculate radiotherapy dose was developed here by Ralston Paterson, Herbert Parker and others in the 1930s. Manchester was also a contributing party to the introduction of image-guided, intensity modulated radiotherapy and stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy into routine clinical practice. More recently, The Christie is now home to advanced techniques including the MR-Linac, proton beam therapy, paving the way for advanced, targeted radiotherapy from one of the largest radiotherapy research hubs in the world.

Ernest Rutherford and Hans Geiger

Pioneering Radiotherapy Research

Manchester researchers are continuously pushing the boundaries of radiotherapy research. Radiotherapy research is now focused on image-guided radiotherapy, proton therapy, radiobiology, imaging, theragnostics and radiotherapy-immunotherapy combinations, enabled by cutting-edge facilities at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust. Activities are split over six key research areas.

CRUK RadNet Manchester logo

Cancer Research UK RadNet Manchester was established in 2019 as part of a national radiotherapy research network. RadNet Manchester is a Radiation Research Unit in collaboration with The Christie with researchers working to develop an externally collaborative “One Manchester” approach to cancer team science in radiotherapy-related research.

Latest News

Advanced Radiotherapy

Working to develop an internationally leading radiotherapy physics programme.


MR-Linac is an exciting technology that combines highly precise imaging and a radiotherapy delivery system that allows for real-time imaging with soft tissue definition superior to that of current standard of care systems.

Radiotherapy Big Data

Investigating how data is captured, used and made available during research to influence clinical delivery.

Targeted Therapy

Investigating the underlying immunological mechanisms in responses and resistance to radiotherapy and immuno-oncology (IO) combinations.

Translational Radiobiology

Optimising and personalising radiotherapy using new biomarkers, techniques or imaging technology to deliver high doses of radiotherapy while minimising side effects.

Research Themes

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Proton Beam Therapy

An advanced form of radiotherapy with the potential to improve the precision and targeting of radiation therapy.

NIHR Manchester BRC - Advanced Radiotherapy theme

Find out more about the Advanced Radiotherapy theme at the NIHR Manchester BRC.

CRUK RadNet Manchester

Find out more about CRUK RadNet Manchester, a Radiation Research Unit in collaboration with The Christie NHS Foundation Trust