The Radiotherapy Physics section (part of the Medical Physics department.) provides scientific and technical services to the Department of Radiotherapy & Oncology, which provides clinical radiotherapy services to approximately 500,000 population of Tayside and North East Fife.
It treats 1,400 new cancer patients a year. It is equipped with a full range of External beam radiotherapy and Brachytherapy treatment facilities. The section comprises seven Radiotherapy Physicists, supported by five Medical Physics Technologists and has responsibilities for the areas of Radiation Dosimetry, Quality Control, Treatment Planning, Software Control, Radiation Protection, Commissioning of Equipment and Training. The service complies with accepted national guidelines and protocols and conforms to the ISO:9001:2008 Quality Standard.
External beam radiotherapy is provided by three Varian Linear Accelerators(2100CD and 2x Clinac iX). All are dual energy, dual modality unit, producing X-ray beams with energies of 6 and 10 MV and Electron beams with a range of energies between 6 and 20 MeV. The three machines are equipped with Multileaf Collimators and two have MV and KV imaging systems on board. The section performs regular Quality Control checks and Planned Maintenance Inspections on all units to ensure the prescribed dose to the patient is delivered accurately. All radiation dosimetry measurements are traceable back to the national standard at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington.
A treatment plan is produced for all patients. Most will require a detailed plan produced using state of the art RayStation 3D Computerised Treatment Planning System with IMRT, Arc Therapy, Biological optimisation and Adaptive planning capability. The planning process is aided by the use of a Toshiba CT scanner and Elekta Simulix Simulator. These are used to localise the volume to be treated within the patient and to verify the plan produced. The Treatment Units, Simulator and Treatment Planning System are linked to Aria patient management and patient verification system. Treatment is also supported by a Mould Room service, which produces beam direction / patient immobilisation devices.
Brachytherapy treatment for gynaecological tumours is delivered by GammaMedPlus Pulsed Dose Rate(PDR) afterloading.
The section is fully involved in the procurement, evaluation, installation and commissioning of all treatment units and planning systems, which are replaced on a rolling programme. At the present we are in the process of procuring to replace one of linear accelerators.
Teaching and Training
The section takes part in the teaching and training for both the Departments of Radiotherapy and Medical Physics, including placements for the Scottish Physicist Training Scheme, the supervision of projects for the University of Dundee and teaching to nurses, radiographers and medical staff as required. The Department of Medical Physics encourages its staff to participate in the IPEM CPD Scheme.
Section staff are:
- Mr Sankhar Pillai (Head of Section)
- Mr Colin D Mackay (Deputy Head of Section)
- Mrs Megan Couper (Radiotherapy Physicist)
- Mrs Megara Hapson (Radiotherapy Physicist)
- Mr Adrian P M Lonsdale (Radiotherapy Physicist)
- Mrs Natalie McInally (Radiotherapy Physicist)
- Mrs Emma McIntosh (Radiotherapy Physicist)
- Mr Stewart Dawson (Chief Medical Technologist)
- Mr Peter Bartlett (Medical Technologist-Technical Lead)
- Mr Colin Watson (Medical Technologist)