Radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy are frequently used for curative treatment of head and neck cancer. The diagnosis, treatment and follow up of patients with head and neck cancer all require specialised equipment; it is not possible to assess and treat these patients in the absence of an endoscopy unit. This equipment is currently available only in St Luke’s Hospital.


The Friends are delighted to confirm that they are funding this necessary and  specialised equipment for St Luke’s Radiation Oncology Centres at Beaumont and St Jame’s Hospitals at the cost of €400,000

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In St. Luke’s, curative radiotherapy for head and neck cancer is frequently delivered using Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT). This may allow sparing of normal tissues and reduce the long term side effects of intensive radiotherapy. However, the delivery of this treatment requires the patient to lie immobilised in a mask covering the head and neck for up to thirty minutes. Many patients with head and neck cancer find this quite difficult. In the new radiotherapy centres at Beaumont and St James’s Hospitals, similar treatment can be delivered using new RAPID ARC equipment. This will reduce the treatment time for patients by 60 – 80%. This significantly improves the individual patient experience and also allows more patients access to treatment machines.

Head and neck cancer patients often have complex problems and require input from surgical, medical oncology and allied health professionals on an ongoing basis.
The provision of endoscopy equipment in the new centres is a necessity if combined care is to be provided on a single site for the majority of head and neck cancer patients

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Sterilisation Equipment is also required. In view of the fact that often many patients require scopes within one clinic session, the scopes would need to be sterilised within a short time frame. Up to 10 scopes may be required in a single clinic, so therefore to avoid delays it would be far more suitable to have our own sterilisation equipment within the Radiotherapy Unit. Sometimes patients require urgent scopes so it would not be appropriate to have to wait for a scope to come back from the host hospital.
The cost of this entire project is €400,000 and has only been possible through the funds raised by all our Friends throughout the country.  Thank you for your continued support which facilitates these great strides in treatment for patients of the St Luke’s Radiation Oncology Network.