15 January 2015
New linear accelerator launched
NHS patients in the South West will benefit from state of the
art radiotherapy treatment with the launch of a new generation
linear accelerator (linac) machine at the Bristol Haematology and
Oncology Centre (BHOC) this week.
The Elekta Versa HD linac, the first in the region, can be used
on a wide range of tumours, including more complex ones where
highly accurate targeting is needed. The machine can complete many
treatments in a much shorter time, meaning less discomfort for
patients, and has the added benefit of using 30% less energy than
Friends of Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre have pledged
to raise the £2 million cost of the machine, which treated its
first patients in December. John Miles MBE, chair of trustees for
the charity said: "everyone at the charity is delighted to see the
new linear accelerator in use, but we are appealing to the public
to help us raise the remaining £800,000 towards the cost of the
machine until we reach our target of £2 million"
Dr Matthew Beasley, Consultant Clinical Oncologist and Head of
Radiotherapy at BHOC stated: "This new machine will allow us to
give radiotherapy with greater speed and precision. It will benefit
patients with a whole range of cancers. I am extremely grateful to
everyone who has raised money towards this appeal".
In addition to the linear accelerator, a further £80,000 has
been raised for Friends of Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre
by Bristol man Alistair Cole. These funds have been used to
purchase a VMAT Phantom, a piece of equipment which will also be
used for many patients receiving complex rotational treatment on
the linac to ensure they benefit from the most accurate dose
delivery possible during treatment. Mr Cole's fundraising efforts
included walking from Land's End to John O'Groats, and were in
memory of his sister.
The launch event will be attended by one of the first patients
to receive treatment on the new linac, representatives of the
Trust's clinical and management teams and Trustees of Friends of
Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre.
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