Tag Archives: proton therapy

Less than 100 images – Gravity Fields festival 2016

Professor Nigel Allinson, Distinguished Chair of Image Engineering at the University of Lincoln, will deliver a fascinating talk as part of the pioneering Gravity Fields festival.

Gravity Fields Festival 2016
Professor Nigel Allinson to talk proton therapy at Gravity Fields Festival
  • Date: Saturday 24th September 2016
  • Time: 1:30pm
  • Venue: Woolsthorpe Manor
  • Ticket Price: £6 (£5)
  • Suitable for age 14+
  • Book your place online

Based in Grantham, Gravity Fields explores the physical sciences through science, arts and heritage events and celebrates the area’s close links with one of the world’s greatest thinkers, Sir Isaac Newton.

Professor Allinson – who leads the ground-breaking PRaVDA medical imagining project which aims to make proton therapy a viable treatment for many more cancer sufferers – will invite festival goers to take a fascinating look at imagery throughout history.

Images are everywhere with nearly 150,000 images posted on Facebook every minute. Professor Allinson’s talk, Less Than 100 Images, will begin in 10th century Basra in Iraq. He will talk his audience through some local heroes (not just Newton, but also a medieval bishop and a humble engineer), to what the future holds; from seeing around corners to holographic television in a tour de force of entertainment and education.

Less Than 100 Images takes place at Woolsthorpe Manor, the birthplace of Sir Isaac Newton, at 1:30pm on Saturday 24th September 2016. Places can be booked online.

Inspired by the genius of Sir Isaac Newton, the Gravity Fields festival has special significance in 2016; the 350thanniversary of his ‘Year of Wonders’  – or ‘Annus Mirabilis’ – of huge scientific advances with his work  on light, mathematics and gravitational forces.

The festival commemorates 1666, the year Newton spent at his Lincolnshire birthplace at Woolsthorpe Manor having fled the plague in Cambridge.

A packed programme of  science, arts, heritage, music, drama and outdoor events  takes the theme of ‘Genius’ to celebrate Newton’s legacy,  ranging from the dazzling LED umbrellas of international creative artists Cirque Bijou to the genius engineers of WW2.

From 3D-printed blacksmith artefacts to proton therapy

LiGHTS Nights is coming to Lincoln and the School of Computer Science is putting on a variety of workshops and lectures you don’t want to miss.

Produce real blacksmith artefacts with the latest 3D-printer technology, find out how Lincoln research is improving proton therapy for cancer sufferers, and get up close and personal with our all-seeing robots, all for LiGHTS Nights on September 30th.

Computer Science does Lights Nights
Computer Science to showcase 3D printing, robotics and proton therapy research
More than 40 scientific workshops, talks and exhibitions will take place as part of the action-packed LiGHTS Nights (Lincoln – Get Hold of Tech and Science) event, which will invite people of all ages to learn more about research projects that are changing the world we live in today.
LiGHTS Nights – a celebration of how science and technology impacts on our daily lives –will take place on the University of Lincoln’s Brayford Pool campus and in venues across the city.
Visitors to LiGHTS Nights will be introduced to Lincoln’s ensemble cast of robots – the focus of exciting studies into artificial intelligence – and invited to experience the latest developments in Virtual Reality, the technology trend taking the world by storm.
Get 3D-printing real blacksmith artefacts from 12-6pm in the Minerva Building, Atrium with Dr John Murray.
A workshop called ‘See Humans Through a Robot’s Eyes’ will run at 1pm, 4pm and 7pm throughout the day in the LLMC Lecture Theatre, David Chiddick Building with Dr Marc Hanheide.
Professor Nigel Allinson will give an insightful talk into his Proton Therapy research: ‘A positive beam of hope for cancer treatments’ at 3pm in the Stephen Langton Lecture Theatre (Emmtec).
LiGHTS Nights is free to attend but bookings for individual sessions should be made in advance. More more information is available and bookings can be made online.

European Researchers’ Night is an annual Europe-wide initiative that takes place on the last Friday of September. The Lincoln showcase is one of more than 250 events occurring simultaneously in major cities across the continent this year, each inviting members of the public to meet ‘heroes of science’; the researchers from different disciplines whose work has the potential to change our world.

LiGHTS Nights will see academics from the University’s Colleges of Science, Arts and Social Science present their pioneering studies and invite visitors to become scientists for the day by participating in a range of different activities and experiments.

The programme of events, which features exhibitions, tours, public lectures, workshops, screenings and performances, begins at 11am and runs until 10pm. Visitors are encouraged to attend several events and make the most of the variety of activities on offer.

Read the full article here


World-first in showing clinical-quality Proton CT for treatment of cancer

An international team of researchers will for the first time be able to demonstrate clinical-quality Proton CT to improve Proton Therapy in the treatment of cancer – moving a step closer to this improved treatment method being used to help those suffering with certain forms of cancer, particularly for children and young people.

Led by Distinguished Professor of Image Engineering Nigel Allinson MBE, from the University of Lincoln, UK, the pioneering PRaVDA (Proton Radiotherapy Verification and Dosimetry Applications) project is developing one of the most complex medical instruments ever imagined to improve the delivery of proton beam therapy.

The team has time on the South African National Cyclotron (a type of particle accelerator), near Cape Town, and hopefully later this year will have a world-first in showing clinical-quality Proton CT.

Professor Allinson said: “The uncertainties in where the protons lose their energy and do damage (tumour or healthy tissue) will only be eliminated by using the same type of radiation, Protons, to image and to treat. By delivering clinical quality Proton CT images, this project will greatly improve the treatment of cancer using proton therapy. Such therapy is particularly useful in the treatment of young people, those with brain tumours, and eventually it may help such stubborn cancers as lung cancer.

“It has been an extraordinary engineering feat – certainly the most complex piece of engineering undertaken at the University of Lincoln. It has involved the active involvement of six universities, four NHS Trusts, National Research Laboratories in South Africa, two specialist sub-contractors and numerous UK and European suppliers.

“The system including detectors of the type used in the Large Hadron Collider and CMOS imagers like those to be found in your smartphone but 500 times larger and working 20 times faster. There is enough processed silicon wafers to make more than 25,000 iPhone cameras. The data output of the system is equivalent to over 300 HDTV channels.”

The innovation will assist radiotherapists by helping them to achieve accurate proton CT images. Nearly half of all cancer patients receive radiotherapy as part of their curative treatment, and most radiotherapy is delivered using high-energy external beams of x-rays. Proton beam therapy, however, uses a different type of beam to conventional radiotherapy. It uses a high-energy beam of protons. Like x-rays, protons can penetrate tissue to reach deep tumours. However, compared to x-rays, protons cause less damage to healthy tissue in front of the tumour, and no damage at all to healthy tissue lying behind, which greatly reduces the side effects of radiation therapy.

There are uncertainties in exactly where the protons will lose most of their energy and hence kill the tumour while not adversely affect healthy tissue. For a tumour 20cm deep inside a patient, this uncertainty is about 1.5 cm. Using Proton CT will eliminate all of these errors.

In November 2014 the consortium received a prestigious Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Innovation Award, named as the winner in the Model-Based Engineering category.

The project is funded by The Wellcome Trust.

PRaVDA RS Pravda 3 RS Pravda 2

Science festival attracts prominent academics

Leading researchers in cancer treatment, retinal disease and the health benefits provided by companion animals will be speaking at a science, arts and heritage festival celebrating the area’s close connection with Sir Isaac Newton.

The Gravity Fields Festival, which takes place in Grantham, Lincolnshire, from 24-28th September 2014, pays homage to the world’s most influential physicist and mathematician, who was born and made many of his most important findings at nearby Woolsthorpe Manor.

Taking part in the packed five-day programme of events is Professor Nigel Allinson MBE, Distinguished Professor of Image Engineering at the University of Lincoln, UK, who leads a pioneering research consortium into proton beam therapy as a more effective radiotherapy treatment for thousands of cancer sufferers.

He fronts the ground-breaking PRaVDA (Proton Radiotherapy Verification and Dosimetry Applications) project, which aims to create one of the most advanced medical imaging systems ever imagined.

The patent-pending technology would enable clinicians to see in real time and in 3D how particles interact with a tumour during proton beam therapy – considered the Holy Grail of radiotherapy. It has the potential to make proton therapy safer and more effective.

The PRaVDA project is funded with a £1.6m grant from the Wellcome Trust and involves a multinational team of clinicians, physicists, engineers and computer scientists.

Professor Allinson’s talk, ‘Treating and Seeing Cancer with Protons’, will take place at 10.30am at the Angel and Royal Hotel in Grantham on Saturday 27th September 2014.

He said: “Reducing the uncertainty of where the proton dose is delivered from several centimetres to a few millimetres will allow difficult tumours to be treated and greatly reduce any dose to healthy tissue.”

The University is also staging an interactive display relating to the talk and technology as part of the festival’s science fair in The George Centre.

On Wednesday 24th September members of the public will have the chance to question leading science experts from around the UK as they debate the issues that will dominate our future.

Chaired by Justin Webb from BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, panellists include Professor Andrew Hunter (Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence, and Pro Vice Chancellor University of Lincoln), Professor John Burn (Clinical Genetics, Newcastle), Professor Valerie Gibson (High Energy Physics, Cambridge and CERN), and Dr Melody Clark (British Antarctic Survey). Science Futures will take place at St Wulfram’s Church from 7.45pm.

On Thursday 25th September Professor Daniel Mills, from the University’s School of Life Sciences, will be delivering a lecture ‘Companion Animals and our Multispecies Society’ at Grantham Guildhall from 2.45pm.

He said: “Companion animals have enormous potential economic, health and social values to society, but the domestic environment is becoming an increasingly difficult area for them to peacefully co-exist with us. At the University of Lincoln we have been examining both the benefits and problems that arise to develop innovative solutions, discussed in this talk.”

Dr Anna Marie Roos, historian of science and medicine, from the University’s College of Arts, will be examining what drugs were prescribed by apothecaries in the 17th Century, how they were made, and the professional standing of apothecaries and physicians.

Her talk ‘Newton and the Apothecary’ will take place from 3.45pm at the Angel and Royal Hotel on Thursday 25th September.

Gravity Fields Festival now has three high profile patrons, Professor Valerie Gibson, Grantham born and now one of the UK’s top women scientists, TV presenter Dallas Campbell and Rob Iliffe, a world authority on Sir Isaac Newton.

For more on Gravity Fields festival go to http://www.gravityfields.co.uk/