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New Surface Guided Radio Therapy System Coming to the Sunrise Centre

We are delighted to announce that the Board of Trustees of the Sunrise Appeal have recently approved a £500,000 grant to the Sunrise Centre which will allow them to install a new system using surface guided radio therapy (SGRT) for patients.

The new system will use a camera and light projection system that will help radiographers position patients with enhanced accuracy. The system will project lights onto the patient’s body, compare their position to the treatment position, and create the coordinates that the radiographers use to place patients in the correct position for treatment using the ‘6 degrees of freedom’ couches (also funded by the Sunrise Appeal). The system will also automatically shut off if it detects movement from the patient, which makes the treatment safer.

In the future, this system will also allow some patients receiving radiotherapy for head and neck cancers to wear an open face mask, rather than closed ones that cover the entire head and face. Masks are designed to hold the patient’s head and neck still in exactly the right position during radiotherapy, but some patients refuse treatment using closed masks due to claustrophobia. This new system will allow an accurate alternative option for some of these patients.

Nikki Snell, Senior Radiographer at the Sunrise Centre, said, “The SGRT will improve treatment and experiences at the Sunrise Centre. The system is more accurate than using the three tattooed skin marks we currently use for targeting alone – and some patients will be able to receive treatment without the marks entirely, meaning there will be no visible lasting reminder of their treatment. It also reduces the need for manual handling, which will be better for both the patients and the radiographers.”

Janet Shephard, Trustee at the Sunrise Appeal and previous Cancer Services Manager at Royal Cornwall Hospital, said “We are delighted to have been able to fund SGRT which will make a huge difference to patients. It will help ensure treatment is as accurate and accessible as possible, and enable the continued development of new techniques.”

From all at the Sunrise Appeal, we would like to extend a huge thank you everyone who has and continues to support the Appeal.

Watch our short film with Nikki Snell, Senior Radiographer at the Sunrise Centre, who explains more about SRGT system and how it will work.