UK’s first TomoTherapy user meeting a huge success

Posted on Sep 29, 2011

The first TomoTherapy UK User Group meeting took place at The Moller Centre in Cambridge. Delegates included individuals from each of the seven hospitals where TomoTherapy Hi-Art and TomoHD treatment machines are installed; Oncology Systems Limited, the UK and Ireland distributors and Accuray Incorporated, the machines’ manufacturers.

The two day conference brought together staff from all disciplines including clinical oncologists, radiotherapy physicists, dosimetrists and radiographers. The meetings saw the sharing of best practice and the chance to see how each of the centres is using TomoTherapy. Newer centres, such as Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, where the UK’s first TomoHDs have just been installed, rubbed shoulders with more experienced users, such as Cromwell Hospital, who were the first in the country to treat on TomoTherapy.

Over the two days many interesting sessions were held including UK hospitals already treating patients on TomoTherapy, comparing their plans for the treatment of three individual cases: prostate and nodes, head and neck and craniospinal. The highlight of the meeting was the ground breaking application of TomoTherapy for Total Marrow and Lymphatic Irradiation or TMLI. The first case of an adult all patient treatment took place at Addenbrooke’s this summer.

A dose plan was presented showing how Tomo can sculpt extremely complex shapes for volumes in one helical delivery whilst sparing organs not possible with TBI, and thus making radiotherapy and bone marrow transplant an option which would otherwise not have been possible for certain patients. The TMLI at Addenbrooke’s took 19 minutes to deliver.

Julie Mead, OSL clinical director said: “It was the first time all these different disciplines had come together to share their experiences of treating patients on TomoTherapy. The presentations were diverse and led to some great Q and A sessions. They sparked off some interesting, open discussions and sharing of opinions and also led to a greater appreciation of the different tasks carried out by everyone involved in planning and delivery of TomoTherapy treatments.

“Feedback from those who attended shows that they are planning to really build on the learning experience by continuing to explore and share new techniques and knowledge. With the closer working relationships that have developed amongst the professional TomoTherapy community in the UK over the two days, we will see even greater advances in TomoTherapy treatments. This will undoubtedly have a positive impact on outcomes, meaning many patients across the country will benefit.”

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