Photo: DTU Nutech

World-class equipment for research into radiation therapy for cancer

Tuesday 20 May 14

Contact

Jens-Peter Lynov
Director
DTU Nutech
+45 46 77 46 67

Contact

Mikael Jensen
Professor
DTU Nutech
+45 46 77 53 59
The John & Birthe Meyer Foundation has donated DKK 18.7 million to finance investment in market-leading and state-of-the-art equipment for measuring doses in connection with radiation therapy for cancer. The equipment has been installed in a new laboratory on DTU Risø Campus, which will be inaugurated on 21 May with a scientific symposium followed by an official opening ceremony.

Radiation therapy plays a key role in cancer treatment, both in Denmark and worldwide. New equipment and new methods are being developed all the time. For example, work is underway to reduce the size of the radiation field, and to alter the intensity during treatment. An essential consideration in this context is the ability to measure and check—on an ongoing basis—how large a dose the patient is receiving. This is a very demanding process, but one that can be crucial to the result.

A DKK 18.7 million donation from The John & Birthe Meyer Foundation enabled DTU Nutech to purchase an accelerator, a cobalt-60 reference unit and precision electronics for measuring and standardizing radiation doses. The advanced equipment has been installed in a new laboratory that will also house facilities for both teaching and researching the physical basis of radiation therapy. The core of the new facility is a Varian Truebeam accelerator—corresponding to the very latest and best radiation cannons used in hospitals. It has been set up in a specially secured and shielded building on DTU Risø Campus.

“Thanks to this very generous donation, DTU can now establish a unique laboratory with the potential to become a world-leading facility for research into measuring methods for radiation therapy. Strong, internationally leading expertise in radiation physics and dosimetry—built up since the foundation of Risø in 1958—will thus be able to achieve new and significant results for the benefit of society as a whole,” says DTU’s President Anders Bjarklev.

Part of a major initiative in medical research
The new laboratory marks another important step in DTU’s initiative to focus on technological development for medical purposes, based on the University’s long tradition for radiation research. DTU Nutech—DTU’s Center for Nuclear Technologies—is the site of research and teaching in areas including the application of nuclear physics in connection with medical diagnosis and therapy, as well as environmental monitoring and dating.

The John & Birthe Meyer Foundation has previously donated funds to assist with the establishment of the Hevesy Laboratory, whose products include a range of important radioactive medicines for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

The inauguration of the new laboratory will be marked with a scientific symposium on fundamental dosimetry with the participation of and contributions from DTU’s medical partners from the industry, as well as from Danish and international authorities and organizations. DTU’s president will give a speech at the meeting, and representatives of The John & Birthe Meyer Foundation will attend in the opening ceremony.