Global Challenge Network+ in Advanced Radiotherapy

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: School of Medical Sciences

Abstract

In the UK one in two people are diagnosed with cancer during their lifetimes and of those who survive 40% can attribute their cure to treatment including radiotherapy. After surgery, radiotherapy is the most effective cure for cancer in the UK.
The basic tenet of radiotherapy is to maximise the damage to the tumour (to sterilise it) while minimising the damage to the surrounding healthy tissue (to reduce side effects). In recent years radiotherapy has developed rapidly with the development of new machines and methodologies. These in turn, have resulted in better imaging, treatment planning and dosimetry, which enable the dose to be more accurately delivered and conformed to the tumour. They have also thrown up a range of interesting new challenges and issues all of which require innovation and solutions. This is exactly where the STFC community could make an enormous impact as they have exactly the skill set which is needed to effectively tackle the new challenges as they arise. This also brings in the expertise from CERN, which could prove invaluable for overcoming some of the imaging challenges in radiotherapy. In addition, the latest developments in radiotherapy - such as MR-linacs and proton therapy - evidence the need for the community to work together with commercial partners. If the UK is to remain competitive and deliver even better treatments for patients, and produce income and impact for the UK economy, it can no longer rely on serendipitous partnerships. This is what this Global Challenge Network+ in Advanced Radiotherapy seeks to address. This Network is aimed at creating a paradigm shift in the way in which radiotherapy research is undertaken and will create a pipeline, which directly translates into patient benefit and quality of life. It will catalyse new multidisciplinary partnerships between the clinical and STFC communities and provide radical and innovative solutions, which draw on the strengths and knowledge of the individual disciplines and weave them together to transcend traditional discipline boundaries, with the sum being greater than the constituent parts.
This is a particularly exciting time to launch this network, with the NHS investment of £250m into two new centres for proton therapy at the Christie Hospital in Manchester and University College London Hospital in London and the recent funding by HEFCE of the Institute for Precision Cancer Medicine in Oxford. These clinical developments should act as a launch pad for multidisciplinary research collaborations in radiotherapy and develop strong links between the clinical and academic communities in STFC laboratories and universities.
This Network will bring together cancer clinicians, clinical scientists and researchers from the biosciences with researchers from the STFC community in areas as diverse as particle and astrophysics, nuclear science, accelerator science, imaging, computational science and detectors to develop a research pipeline and contribute to a coordinated national plan and roadmap for advanced radiotherapy research across the UK. This is particularly timely and will strengthen the links between clinical radiotherapy and STFC scientists in both national laboratories and universities and is aligned with STFC Futures Programme, in particular the Healthcare Theme.
This Global Challenge Network+ in Advanced Radiotherapy aims to work in partnership with the National Cancer Research Institute CTRad (Clinical and Translational Radiotherapy Research Working Group) engage the wider STFC funded capability (to encompass nuclear physics, particle physics and astronomy) in both the STFC national laboratories (ALICE, DIAMOND, ISIS, VELA/CLARA) and universities and to draw on the STFC experience and expertise within them. In doing so it aims to engage across the remit of STFC activities and aid their translation into the clinical environment.

Planned Impact

This Network+ designed to bring the clinical radiotherapy and STFC communities together, to develop synergies and research collaboration. The main impact of this Network+ will be in its benefits to patients and translating research out of the laboratory towards patient benefit. There will also be benefits through collaboration for the private sector, generating income for the UK economy and society. The ultimate aim will be better treatment and better patient outcomes, achieved by bringing together a wide-ranging and multidisciplinary community and pump-priming collaborations. Moreover, it will produce a vibrant energised community who will actively work together and start to train the next generation to do the same. The impact of the Network+ will be measured in terms of its impact on its stakeholders in the public and private sectors as well as in the academic community. For advanced radiotherapy there is often a close working relationship between academia, NHS and equipment suppliers. This can prove to be mutually beneficial and can result in patents, licensing agreements or spin out companies. The Network will build on these strong existing relationships and will aim to take research developed within the Network up the technology readiness levels.
Academic impact will be realised through joint grant applications and research outputs. It will also be realised through the PhD students funded via the Network+. The sandpit events funded through the Network will pump-prime grant applications and collaborations.
Patient representatives will be involved in ARN+ through close collaboration with CTRad, they will sit on the Advisory Group and Steering Committee to ensure that the patient voice and views are represented in ARN+.
Industrial involvement will be realised through an industry day and close collaboration and involvement in all Network activities. Knowledge Exchange will be facilitated by a number of the Network activities. The Network + will work closely with the Innovations Directorate, the Innovation Partnership Scheme (IPS) Fellows and STFC Innovations Ltd (based in Harwell). The main activity for taking the research from the Network along the research pipeline and translating it into patient or industrial benefit will be through the Impact Sandpit. This is deliberately designed to take successful research ideas and develop them in collaboration with an industrial or public sector partner. In addition, all of the proposals originating from the Grand Challenge Sandpits will be asked to think about the pathway for developing the proposal, where future funding will come from and the potential for Knowledge Exchange. Where applicable cross-disciplinary PhDs will also be encouraged to involve an industrial or international secondment. In addition, stakeholders from the public and private sectors will be invited to attend Network meetings and can also apply to attend and participate in the Sandpits and be involved as collaborators in joint PhDs. These stakeholders will also play an important role in the Foresight document and Roadmap. It is envisaged that Network+ will work closely with the NHS Commissioners via the Department of Health and CTRad to develop a joined up UK research roadmap.

Publications

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Dimitriadis A (2016) Current status of cranial stereotactic radiosurgery in the UK. in The British journal of radiology

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Georgantzoglou A (2015) Automatic cell detection in bright-field microscopy for microbeam irradiation studies. in Physics in medicine and biology

 
Title Bragg peak glass 
Description working with a glassblower on a glass sculpture to represent the Bragg peak and how different beams are brought togther during PBT treatment 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact this will form a piece of artwork in patient area of clinical PBT centre 
 
Title protons the play 
Description Story of proton therapy in Manchester from Rutherford to clinical treatment 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact story of how PBT came to Manchester 
 
Description Patient information booklets on PBT
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Implementation circular/rapid advice/letter to e.g. Ministry of Health
 
Description Workstream 4 CoChair NCRI CTRad
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
Impact National body pioneering new developments in radiotherapy
 
Description CRUK ART-NET
Amount £4,500,000 (GBP)
Organisation Cancer Research UK 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2016 
End 08/2021
 
Description CRUK Major Centre
Amount £48,500,000 (GBP)
Organisation Cancer Research UK 
Department Manchester Institute
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2017 
End 03/2022
 
Description EC Research and Infrastructure
Amount € 5,000,000 (EUR)
Funding ID 730983 INSPIRE 
Organisation European Commission H2020 
Sector Public
Country Belgium
Start 03/2018 
End 02/2022
 
Description EMPIR
Amount € 2,000,000 (EUR)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 05/2016 
End 04/2019
 
Description Equipment application
Amount £265,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Manchester 
Department Manchester Cancer Research Centre
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2017 
End 10/2018
 
Description NIHR
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Organisation National Institute for Health Research 
Department NIHR Biomedical Research Centre
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 09/2021
 
Description NIHR BRC
Amount £28,500,000 (GBP)
Organisation National Institute for Health Research 
Department NIHR Biomedical Research Centre
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2017 
End 03/2022
 
Description Responsive Mode
Amount £3,400,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2018 
End 12/2021
 
Description 50% PhD studentship 
Organisation National Physical Laboratory
Department Quantum Detection Group
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution 50% funding for a PhD
Collaborator Contribution 50% funding for a PhD student + access to resources and expertise (NPL) PhD supervision and expertise UCL
Impact Multidisciplinary project looking at use of laser ions collaboration between STFC scientists and engineers and clinical scientists
Start Year 2017
 
Description 50% PhD studentship 
Organisation University College London
Department Centre for Medical Image Computing
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution 50% funding for a PhD
Collaborator Contribution 50% funding for a PhD student + access to resources and expertise (NPL) PhD supervision and expertise UCL
Impact Multidisciplinary project looking at use of laser ions collaboration between STFC scientists and engineers and clinical scientists
Start Year 2017
 
Description MGH 
Organisation Eindhoven University of Technology
Department Medical Physics
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution New collaboration to incorporate research undertaken by 2 current PhD students and a new PhD who will work directly with MGH. MGH are providing software licenses free of charge and the software developed will be incorporated in to TOPAS which is used internationally. The PhDs have now visited but there is an ongoing collaboration with weekly telephone conferences. 1 publication in Nature Scientific Reports and 4 further publications in the process of being submitted
Collaborator Contribution software licenses, hosting PhDs at MGH expertise
Impact Software now incorporated in Open Access Software Topas n-Bio; 1 publication and 4 further publications being written; Workshop to be held in Belfast in April 2018 (all workshop places filled). Active ongoing collaboration.
Start Year 2016
 
Description NPL2 
Organisation National Physical Laboratory
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Proton Physics Research Implementation Group (PPRIG) Hosts annual international workshop
Collaborator Contribution Costs of hosting the annual workshop, experience and expertise
Impact Presentations can be found below http://www.pprig.co.uk/pprig/meetings/pprig-proton-therapy-physics-workshop-dec-2016.html
Start Year 2016
 
Description PhD studentship 2 
Organisation Eindhoven University of Technology
Department Medical Physics
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution brings together research at MGH, The Christie and University in modeling DNA damage and repair and incorporating it into a commercial software
Collaborator Contribution experience and expertise, software licenses and funding for 50% of PhD
Impact multidisciplinary incorporating Geant 4 DNA into TOPAS nBio. We are in the process of developing this in to treatment planning and have had preliminary discussions with Varian to obtain software license free of charge.
Start Year 2017
 
Description PhD studentship 2 
Organisation Massachusetts General Hospital
Country United States 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution brings together research at MGH, The Christie and University in modeling DNA damage and repair and incorporating it into a commercial software
Collaborator Contribution experience and expertise, software licenses and funding for 50% of PhD
Impact multidisciplinary incorporating Geant 4 DNA into TOPAS nBio. We are in the process of developing this in to treatment planning and have had preliminary discussions with Varian to obtain software license free of charge.
Start Year 2017
 
Description PhD studentship 2 
Organisation University of Manchester
Department School of Physics and Astronomy Manchester
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution brings together research at MGH, The Christie and University in modeling DNA damage and repair and incorporating it into a commercial software
Collaborator Contribution experience and expertise, software licenses and funding for 50% of PhD
Impact multidisciplinary incorporating Geant 4 DNA into TOPAS nBio. We are in the process of developing this in to treatment planning and have had preliminary discussions with Varian to obtain software license free of charge.
Start Year 2017
 
Description PhD studentship 3 
Organisation Eindhoven University of Technology
Department Medical Physics
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution 50% of a PhD
Collaborator Contribution 50% of funding for PhD and experience and expertise; PhD supervision
Impact bringing clinical scientists and STFC community together to work on VHEE in radiotherapy. Workshop on VHEE. Preliminary experiments at CERN have resulted in a publication which has been submitted for publication.
Start Year 2017
 
Description PhD studentship 3 
Organisation University of Manchester
Department Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology & Gastroenterology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution 50% of a PhD
Collaborator Contribution 50% of funding for PhD and experience and expertise; PhD supervision
Impact bringing clinical scientists and STFC community together to work on VHEE in radiotherapy. Workshop on VHEE. Preliminary experiments at CERN have resulted in a publication which has been submitted for publication.
Start Year 2017
 
Title RCT TORPEDO 
Description TORPED RCT has been developed and will start recruiting patients in 2020 
Type Therapeutic Intervention - Radiotherapy
Current Stage Of Development Refinement. Clinical
Year Development Stage Completed 2018
Development Status Under active development/distribution
Impact First UK RCT in PBT 
 
Description Charity events for patient groups and carers 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Patients, carers and/or patient groups
Results and Impact Have participated in about 3 charity events per year for charitable donors patients and carers
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
 
Description Cyclotron installation The Christie 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Installation of cyclotron in to Christie proton therapy centre
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentations at House of Commons 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Presentation to politicians at House of Commons by at least 1 PGR from the group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
 
Description School Visit (Oldham) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Talk on Proton Therapy for national Science week
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description School visit (Withington) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact School visit to 6th form to talk about proton therapy
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Spotlight event on proton therapy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Talk on proton therapy and the building of the Manchester facility
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description radio interview on proton therapy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact interview about PBT for channel 5
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description radiotherapy and me 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Patients, carers and/or patient groups
Results and Impact event to listen to patients experience of radiotherapy
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018