New £5.5m machine makes Northampton General Hospital most advanced in UK for cancer care

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Northampton General Hospital boasts the most advanced cancer centre in the UK thanks to a £5.5 million upgrade of its radiotherapy service.

Patients receiving radiotherapy treatment in Northampton will now benefit from a greater range of therapies, better accuracy in targeting cancer cells and reduced side effects thanks to the purchase of the most sophisticated cancer machines in the UK.

The hospital has completed £5.5m investment programme in new equipment and facilities which has seen the purchase of three new linear accelerator (LINAC) machines.

The programme includes a purpose-designed converted building connected to the main hospital site by a glass walkway. In addition, ceiling lightboxes have been installed in the treatment rooms to simulate the night sky,

Consultant oncologist Dr Craig Knighton said: “We can now deliver a greater range of therapies than before and because these machines allow for improved positioning of patients, we have better accuracy in targeting cancer cells. This, in turn, means that patients will suffer fewer or reduced side effects.“

The linear accelerator is used to treat all parts of the body by delivering high-energy x-rays to the region of the patient’s tumour.

Jo Sanders, senior radiographer, said: “We can see the effects of the treatment much more quickly thanks to the level of detail our new imaging gives us. So whereas in the past, we’d have to wait to see how a patient’s body has reacted to the treatment, now we can get that information almost straight away. This means we can identify very quickly if we need to alter any part of the treatment plan and patients know their treatment is having an impact.”

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