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Names of RT Machines

User
Posted 09 Feb 2021 at 19:10

Just a silly thing I wonder about now and then.


I had my RT sessions at Clatterbridge Wirral, they have I think, 6 RT machines or something. I haven't a clue what the machines actually are called technically but the machines at Clatterbridge Wirral are named after trees. My machine was Holly and I had all but 1 of my 37 sessions on Holly. I always dreaded booking in at reception and seeing long delays with Holly. To be fair there was only really 1 time with really long delays and I was put on Beech I think that day.


Must admit I was quite in awe of those machines, such a monster of a machine moving around you. But the alarm buzzer when it sounded quickened the heart beat for a moment.


Do other RT machines have names.


Peter

User
Posted 09 Feb 2021 at 20:12

The machines are called LINACs - Linear Accelerators.


They accelerate a beam of electrons to high speed, and have them hit a tungsten target, which generates X-rays. The X-Ray beam is shaped in the head to aim at the target in your body. If you watch the head as it passes over you, you will see the multi-leaf collimator (MLC) moving as it shapes the beam (keep still - don't move your head to look at it). I asked what the beam energy was set to, and it was 6MeV (million electron volts) for prostate cancer. I think they said those LINACs can go up to 18MeV, but the bunkers were only rated up to 12MeV.


This is a good YouTube video explaining how the LINAC works:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSgnWfbEx1A


At Mount Vernon, they have 12 bunkers, and 9 LINACs were operating in them when I was being treated there 18 months ago. I'm told there are fewer now, due to fewer patients coming forward to be diagnosed since COVID. Theirs were named after the bunker number and year the LINAC was installed, e.g. LA12_2017, LA10_2018 (the two I was treated on most often). They were all Varion models (at least, the the ones used for prostate cancer), doing IG-VMAT treatment.

Edited by member 09 Feb 2021 at 23:09  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 09 Feb 2021 at 20:24

Oh dear Christie's are very boring suite 1, suite 2, etc. As for the brand name they were all Elektra Versa HD. I looked up the details on the Web its very impressive.


When I set up computers at my work I would name them after Greek gods, planets, noble gases etc. When I was on holiday I returned to find my assistant set them up with the names of Disney princesses. 

Dave

User
Posted 09 Feb 2021 at 22:03

I seem to remember the suites were named after trees ,oak and beech comes to mind. I don't think the machines had names.


Thanks Chris

User
Posted 09 Feb 2021 at 23:48
Yes I did try to look at the beam 'changing' as it moved but probably simply too scared in case I moved. Wonder how much smaller or compact the 'linacs' might become in the future. I didn't need to know too much about the machines but knew they were/are very heavy, walls needed to be very thick to protect those outside. Think this is why the things amazed me as you're just lying there, everyone disappears and you're relying on this machine, and oncologists etc of course, to help you out.
Maybe it is the actual suites that are named, I just remember at the beginning being advised that I"d be receiving treatment on Holly
throughout, not important at all I know but seems a bit more friendly(??) than LA12 02 or something?
Peter
User
Posted 10 Feb 2021 at 08:41
I’m 2 thirds of my way through my treatment with β€˜Vera’ at GenesisCare Milton Keynes. πŸ˜€
User
Posted 10 Feb 2021 at 13:44
LINACs are always female.
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard
User
Posted 10 Feb 2021 at 16:42
Is it right the Nhs just lease the machines because they are so expensive ! The music I liked , bat out of hell played once while the machine did his/her business god bless the nhs and scientists !!! I always remember the iron gate clanging shut when the radiographers left the room , always loved the sound when they opened it and came in β€˜ all done today β€˜
User
Posted 10 Feb 2021 at 17:05

βœ…

User
Posted 10 Feb 2021 at 18:02

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member
Is it right the Nhs just lease the machines because they are so expensive !


Probably; bean counters do strange things. I know leasing can be more tax efficient but if it's a state owned company surely that is irrelevant. In the end it's just another middle man taking a little slice of the action.

Dave

User
Posted 10 Feb 2021 at 19:13

Cyberknife is cool and pretty thin on the ground in the Uk

User
Posted 10 Feb 2021 at 19:25

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member


Originally Posted by: Online Community Member
Is it right the Nhs just lease the machines because they are so expensive !


Probably; bean counters do strange things. I know leasing can be more tax efficient but if it's a state owned company surely that is irrelevant. In the end it's just another middle man taking a little slice of the action.


Yes I was told the ones in Southampton general were leased because they were expensive , and being leased all maintenance /breakdown  costs the nhs hadn’t got to pay ? I stand corrected , but what a machine ! 

User
Posted 10 Feb 2021 at 20:13
My local hospital buys their scanning services from an external supplier: the scanners are in shipping containers adjacent to the hospital building. Apparently it's more cost-efficient to do that because it means they always have the latest state-of-the-art scanners.

Chris
User
Posted 10 Feb 2021 at 20:21

We were told the Mount Vernon machines go off to other countries when they swap them out for newer ones.

User
Posted 10 Feb 2021 at 21:02
I guess it is like car leasing becoming much more popular than buying a car on hire purchase? You lease it, they maintain it and at the end of the period you give it back as opposed to being left with an old vehicle that is worth less than the balance owing :-/

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard
User
Posted 10 Feb 2021 at 21:25
Yes, exactly that. And as long as you keep up the lease you get a new scanner every couple of years.

 
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