The London Clinic is the only hospital in the UK that has the necessary technology to deliver the world’s most up-to-date and advanced radiotherapy technique, that of combining the use of the RapidArc with Respiratory Gating. 

The use of RapidArc means that radiotherapy is customised to the individual patient’s personal anatomy. Sparing a significant amount of the healthy tissue that surrounds the tumour means that higher doses of radiotherapy can be delivered, thereby increasing the radiotherapy success rate.

The London Clinic’s CyberKnife, one of only a handful of such systems available in UK hospitals, is a non-invasive, pain free alternative to surgery.

To date, nearly 100,000 patients worldwide have had stereotactic radiosurgery with the CyberKnife, a painless treatment method for a range of cancers and neurosurgical conditions.

The CyberKnife uses the most sophisticated image-guidance and computer-controlled robotics available today, delivering multiple beams of radiation to the target from virtually any direction. It can also track the position of the tumour while the patient moves and breathes. Because it can deliver radiation so accurately, CyberKnife treatment can often help patients who have inoperable or surgically complex tumours.

As we breathe, some of our internal organs will move and this can make treating the chest and abdomen more difficult.  Respiratory gating is a process by which we can guide patients to breathe in a certain way or to hold their breath for a short time. This enables us to reduce possible side effects. Each patient is individually assessed as respiratory gating is not suitable or necessary for all patients.

DIBH is a type of respiratory gating. In this process we ask patients to breathe in deeply and to hold their breath for a short time while we deliver their radiotherapy. We may use DIBH to treat patients with left side breast cancer as this can effectively reduce the dose received to the heart.

EEBH is a type of respiratory gating. In this process we ask patients to breathe out and to then hold their breath for a short time while we deliver their radiotherapy. EEBH is most suitable when treating the chest and abdomen.

Linear accelerators (or Linacs) are the most commonly used machines that deliver external beam radiotherapy. They use electricity to create a range of high energy ionising radiation which can treat any part of the body. Our Linacs perform state-of-the-art radiotherapy techniques such as intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), volumetric arc therapy (VMAT) and respiratory gating and they are all able to provide image guided radiotherapy (IGRT).

MLCs are a component of the linear accelerators that allow us to block out and shield areas of healthy tissue from the treatment. MLCs can remain still or move depending on the complexity of the radiotherapy being given.

IGRT is the method by which our highly trained radiographers take and evaluate images (similar to x-rays and CT scans) of the area to be treated. This is done for all patients before every treatment is given in order to ensure that the treatment given is as accurate as possible.

IMRT is a technique that uses a number of fixed beams in combination with MLCs that continually move. This technique allows us to shape the dose around the target area, whilst avoiding healthy tissue, helping us to safely give higher doses whilst at the same time minimising any side effects.

VMAT is the technique in which the linac continuously moves around the patient whilst the MLCs are also in constant motion, in order to enable faster treatment. This technique allows us to shape the dose around the target area, whilst avoiding healthy tissue, helping us to safely give higher doses and at the same time minimise any side effects.

Brachytherapy is the name for internal radiotherapy. This technique places live radioactive sources in the treatment area. There are a variety of internal radiotherapy treatments and the clinical choice of which is the most appropriate for the individual patient will influence whether the patient will be treated as an inpatient or outpatient, and if the source is to be left in permanently or removed.

SRS is the application of a number of finely focussed beams of radiation onto small lesions in the brain. At The London Clinic, SRS is given using our CyberKnife system. Treatments can be delivered in one to five days.

Radionuclide therapy used radioisotopes which are radioactive materials that are absorbed into the body. Different radioistopes are able to target different tissue types. Radioisotope therapy is given as a drink or capsules that you swallow or by injection into a vein (intravenous injection).