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Primary Supervisor: Dr Kristoffer Petersson

Second Supervisor: Prof Amato Giaccia

Project Overview:

Over 25% of cancer patients in the UK receive radiotherapy, often delivered in multiple fractions over several weeks. This project seeks to improve radiotherapy treatment options through novel dose delivery, culminating in photon FLASH radiotherapy. This would reduce the number of radiotherapy fractions required and could improve patient outcomes and quality of life. The university of Oxford and Teledyne e2v will collaborate on this project. Teledyne e2v has products in >98% of linear accelerator based radiotherapy machines globally. FLASH radiotherapy is an innovative radiotherapy delivery methodology using ultra-high dose rates. Recent global research has indicated that FLASH can reduce radiation induced damage in healthy tissues with the anti-tumour effect. In addition, the number of treatment fractions can be substantially reduced and, with treatment times in the order of 100ms, higher patient throughput and a reduction in patient motion can be achieved. To date, most FLASH research is performed using proton or electron beams. There are many technical challenges delivering clinical FLASH employing these methods. Using protons requires large and expensive facilities, and electron FLASH is currently only able to treat superficial tumours. University of Oxford and Teledyne e2v are seeking to develop a solution using photons, which should be lower cost and have a smaller system footprint with reduced infrastructure requirements creating an affordable system across all geographical regions. On the journey to photon FLASH there are incremental technology improvements which will further advance the delivery of conventional radiotherapy. These could radically reduce the patient’s time spent in breath hold and avoid the need for gating, alongside delivering higher dose rates enabling faster treatments and increased patient throughput. This project gives the student the opportunity to work with leading FLASH researchers and experts in RF power generation for radiotherapy to advance radiotherapy and improve patient experience and treatment throughputs.

Training Opportunities:

Teledyne e2v will provide training and support for the student before and during the placement at its facilities in Chelmsford and at the University of Oxford, including: 

  • Use of HV test equipment for RF generation (in Chelmsford and Oxford)
  • Understanding the principles of operation of magnetrons and modulators
  • Design and operation principles for RF subsystems in radiotherapy
  • Commercialisation of products for radiotherapy and insights into the radiotherapy market
  • Access to subject matter experts  Including Teledyne e2v magnetron and modulator designers, applications engineering and test engineering experts
  • Joint papers and presentations at conferences