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10,000 accuracy checks a second enable `moving’ tumours to be targeted as patients breathe.

Cancer patients with `moving’ tumours will be treated with ever greater accuracy thanks to a super smart radiotherapy machine that can track and target cancers by making ten thousand calculations a second.

On Monday 23 November, Kent Oncology Centre at Canterbury, which is part of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, officially opened the first radiotherapy machine in the county to have the very latest state-of-the-art “Truebeam” treatment technology installed.

This £2million technology will help to more quickly and accurately treat certain types of cancers which can be relatively mobile within a patient’s body.

Clinical Director for Cancer and Haematology, Sharon Beesley, said: “The Truebeam machine will allow us to target tumours which can vary in position during treatment, helping us to deliver treatment quickly and accurately while avoiding healthy tissues and organs. This is a very positive enhancement to the cancer services we offer and I am delighted to see the equipment in place and ready for our patients.”

Many tumors in places like the lungs, brain, breast, prostate, head and neck move when you breathe in and out. The TrueBeam system measures up to 100,000 data points every ten seconds (that’s 10 accuracy checks every millisecond or 10,000 every second!), during treatment to ensure the tumour continues to be targeted precisely.

The completion of this project is part of the on-going ten year major capital program being undertaken by Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, to replace several major pieces of radiotherapy treatment equipment across Kent.