Last week, the BBC broadcast a Horizon programme about new cancer treatments being trialled at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. The documentary followed three different types of treatment; robotic surgery, a genetically targeted drug and a radiotherapy robot.
As we’ve discovered, standard radiotherapy treatment involves splitting the required dose into 3 beams, so only cells inside the tumour receive the full dose. The radiotherapy robot, CyberKnife, allows high energy x-rays to enter the patient’s body from many different angles. The advantage of this robot is that it minimises the risk to healthy tissue while ensuring a fatal dose of energy is delivered to the cancer cells.
I have put together a series of clips from the programme to follow patient Ray’s treatment. The clip from the planning meeting shows just many individual beams the robot will use during the treatment.
To find out more about how x-rays affect living cells, watch this clip from Bang Goes the Theory.
The Royal Marsden Hospital has a video that provides a quick guide to radiotherapy.
Use the download link below if you would like to save a copy of the CyberKnife video.