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New facility launched to develop new cancer treatments

The Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Daresbury Laboratory is strengthening its support for the medical device industry with a new facility.

The facility will test new radiotherapy technologies. Varian Medical Systems will use the facility to scale up the testing of its advanced linear accelerator technology. The technology allows clinicians to deliver accurate, highly targeted doses of radiation to treat a range of cancers. These include, among many others, cancers of the:

  • lung
  • prostate
  • breast
  • brain
  • spine
  • liver
  • pancreas
  • bone

As an essential part of the manufacturing process, these radiotherapy machines require specialist testing carried out by highly skilled technicians. Importantly, this testing must be performed in a radiation-protected environment due to the amount of radiation generated.

For the last two years, Varian has conducted this testing at Daresbury Laboratory, Iocated at Sci-Tech Daresbury in the Liverpool City Region. Here it has been using the existing radiation-protective infrastructure and the technical expertise available on-site to carry out this essential work. However, increased requirement to manufacture more of these radiotherapy machines has required Varian to upscale its testing capacity.

Designed and built in collaboration with a team of experts at Daresbury Laboratory, the new, bespoke testing facility enables Varian to more than triple its testing and manufacturing capacity.

Paul Vernon, head of the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Daresbury Laboratory, said: "Daresbury Laboratory has pioneered particle accelerators throughout its 60 year history. These systems are highly complex but are proving to be essential technology for the development of new generation radiotherapy systems for treating cancer. I am thrilled that, in collaboration with Varian, our on-site team here at Daresbury has the expertise and experience to design and build this vital safe testing facility to meet Varian’s requirements.

"Furthermore, this was all completed to a very tight timescale under the pressure of COVID-19 restrictions. This has been a tremendous effort by our team and is a great opportunity to support industry through access to our world class science and facilities which, in turn will benefit our economy and the health and wellbeing of our society."

Andy Partridge, vice president APAC EMEA manufacturing at Varian said: "By working with the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Daresbury Laboratory, Varian will now produce and test many more Halcyon radiotherapy systems within the UK."

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Upcoming Events

EBME Expo 2021

Marshall Arena, Stadium MK, Milton Keynes Stadium Way West Milton Keynes MK1 1ST
30th June - 1st July

Central Sterilising Club 60th Anniversary Annual Scientific Meeting

Crowne Plaza, Bridge Foot, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6YR
4th - 5th April

Access the latest issue of Clinical Services Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Clinical Services Journal app from your device's App store

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