A group of eleven Loreto physics students attended an Institute of Physics lecture held at Manchester Metropolitan University in January to hear Dr Ronald McKay give a description of the proton beam therapy centre being built at the Christie hospital. This will be the first facility in the UK to offer this form of treatment when it opens in 2018, and will allow 1500 patients a year to receive advanced radiotherapy in three 3-storey treatment suites.

The students were presented with a brief history of radiotherapy, and the Christie’s role at the fore-front of research, before being given a detailed description of why the physics of proton beams offers enormous advantages over current conventional methods using gamma and x-rays in treating tumours located deep within the body close to sensitive tissues.

The presenter gave careers advice to Loreto students after the talk on pathways into medical physics.