Welcome to Radiotherapy at UCLH, if you are the parent or carer of a child or young person coming for Radiotherapy you will meet the paediatric & teenage and young adults team. This will include a specialist paediatric and teenage & young adult radiographer and our radiotherapy play specialists.

An accredited therapeutic radiographer, with the specialist training in radiotherapy for children, teenagers and young adults. our specialist paediatric and teenage & young adult radiographer will ensure the radiotherapy treatment pathway and daily treatment is individualised to a young person’s needs. They work very closely with the play specialists and other medical professionals to support and guide you through your experience.

playspec.jpg

Our radiotherapy play specialists are qualified and registered play specialists, dedicated to the families coming to UCLH for radiotherapy. They will be able to support your through your radiotherapy treatment pathway. They work closely with other professionals, such as your doctors, nurses and radiographers, to help you understand each step of your treatment.

Their roles include:

  • Preparation prior to treatments and procedures, ensuring that the information is given in an age appropriate way, using a variety of resources such as photos and short videos.
  • Distraction during treatments and procedures;
  • General play/ activities throughout your entire treatment journey. 

We understand that finding out your child may need to have radiotherapy can raise all sorts of questions and anxieties. We are here to help support you and your family every step of the way.

The first step is meeting a radiotherapy doctor in clinic. From there, one of our team will meet with you and/or your family to talk through what the doctor has discussed and begin to prepare your child for each stage of their treatment.

Everyone is an individual, and treatment is designed especially for each patient, depending on which area of the body is being treated, some patients may require a mould or body support to help you stay nice and comfortable each time you come for treatment.

Before treatment starts, there will be plenty of opportunities to answer your questions, visit your treatment machine, meet the radiographers and make sure you feel comfortable with everything that is happening. We have lots of tips and tricks to make Radiotherapy easier and less tiresome.

Here at UCLH we have a dedicated Paediatric waiting area, play room and chill out room for parents, carers and patients to relax in before your radiotherapy appointment. These rooms are fully equipped with a range of games and activities for all age groups.

PlaySpecialists.jpg

 

We have entertainment options available for during treatment, including movie projectors and an endless Spotify library are accessible to all our patients.

We look forward to meeting you and your family and aim to help make your experience in radiotherapy a positive one.

Radiotherapy delivered on a linear accelerator (sometimes termed linac) is a form of ‘external beam' radiotherapy delivered using high energy X-Rays (photons). The department is equipped with 4 modern Varian TrueBeam linear accelerators, with ‘6 degree of freedom’ treatment couches all with advanced imaging packages, including respiratory and organ motion management systems.

The Radiotherapy service at UCLH also has dedicated CT, PET-CT and MRI scanners which are used to plan your radiotherapy treatment.

Linac.jpg

External beam radiotherapy delivered using a linear accelerator uses a dose of high energy X-Rays precisely targeted at a treatment target, whilst reducing the dose to surrounding healthy tissues and vital organs.

Treatment times will vary, depending on the area treated and the specific treatment position, the Linear Accelerator (Linac) itself makes a buzzing noise when it is switched on. Nothing will be seen or felt during treatment.

brachy.jpgBrachytherapy is a form of radiotherapy treatment given internally. To deliver the treatment, a number of very fine flexible plastic tubes are inserted directly into the treatment area. A radioactive source is programmed to travel through these tubes. Each treatment takes approximately 5-10minutes. The treatment may be repeated a number of times, over several days.

Your child will have a general anaesthetic for to plan their brachytherapy and for each treatment. This ensures treatment accuracy as your child can be kept very still. 
 

Your child will stay on the paediatric oncology ward during their treatment, for specialist paediatric care and support.

Dependent on the distance you may need to travel, we can provide accommodation nearby for carers/ family

Please visit our Proton Beam Therapy pages for more information.

University College Hospital is a national referral centre for molecular radiotherapy for children Molecular radiotherapy is a form of radiotherapy which utilises radioactive medications. It can be given via the mouth (orally) or into a vein (intravenously), directly targeting tumour tissue, wherever it is in the body. 

We have two dedicated specialised treatment suites for children, with a large team of specialists to coordinate treatment and support you and your child through the process.

We aim to ensure that you and your child are as comfortable as possible; we ensure visits to the specialised rooms prior to treatment, meeting the teams involved with your child’s care and answering any questions or queries you may have. 

We understand how challenging it can be for a child to remain in hospital and we will do our best to provide a variety of appropriate games, books, movies, and other entertaining activities to help keep you all busy during your stay in hospital. We are happy to assist with any other requests that allow us to tailor treatment to you and your child.

Dependent on the distance you may need to travel, we can provide accommodation nearby for carers/ family