European Network for Light Ion Hadron Therapy
Over 24.6 million Euros of funding has been obtained by the European Network for Light Ion Hadron Therapy (ENLIGHT) through four EU grants:
- Marie Curie Initial Training Network PARTNER - Particle Training Network for European Radiotherapy
- Cooperation project ENVISION - European NoVel Imaging Systems for ION therapy
Two Infrastructure projects
- ULICE – Union of Light ion Centres in Europe
- SPIRIT – Support of Public and Industrial Research using Ion Beam Technology
This year ENLIGHT has been awarded a further 4 million Euros to form a second research training network for imaging research in particle therapy (ENTERVISION) and PARTNER has been cited as an exemplar of multidisciplinary training and research.
The UK research network has also obtained funding from two RCUK Basic Technology grants aimed at developing the next generation accelerators for particle therapy LIBRA - new laser-powered technology and CONFORM – a compact, versatile accelerator for particle therapy.
The group has also developed extensive experience with in-silico modelling methodologies spanning a range of length scales. Cell-cycle based models have been used to study the phase dependence of radiation sensitivity, map the potential evolutionary dynamics of brain tumour stem cells, predict patterns of glioblastoma migration through the brain, and even study the effects of changing radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments for a population of patients with glioblastoma Tumours.
Modelling is used as a hypothesis-generating exercise for correlation with subsequent clinical or experimental data, and even for clinical resource planning and clinical trial development. The group was recently awarded a £100,000 research award by the NHS National Cancer Action Team to develop a new model for radiotherapy demand across the whole of England.
Through the ENLIGHT partnership a research collaboration has been built with Dr Annelie Meijer at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, this involves the joint supervision of doctoral researchers and carrying out joint experiments.
The Karolinska Institute conducts pioneering research in the field of radiation biology and through this collaboration we have access to the International laboratory at the HIMAC facility in CHIBA in Japan.
HIMAC pioneered the use of particle therapy in Japan and has treated more patients than any other facility in the world with light ions. In addition to its patient treatment facilities HIMAC also has a research beamline and this is where we are conducting some of our experiments at clinically relevant energies. As well as our research collaborations with the major treatment facilities in Europe and Japan we are also developing collaborations with some of the facilities in the USA.
On August 18th 2009 Ann Keen, the then Health Minister, asked hospitals in England to bid to host new centres for proton beam therapy. In September 2010 the decision was made to build proton therapy centres in England. The Wolfson vertical nanobeam in the IBC will provide research to underpin the development of these new centres.