Joint Department of Physics

The operation of oncology services at The Royal Marsden requires essential support from medical physicists, engineers and technologists, who are all members of the Joint Department of Physics.

The department, which works across The Royal Marsden and The Institute of Cancer Research, is located at the Chelsea and Sutton sites of both organisations. It provides creative scientific input to clinical development and translational research for cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Work of the department

The department's major roles are to:

  • provide support for the clinical activities of radiotherapy, nuclear medicine and radiology
  • manage a radiation protection service.

Research and postgraduate teaching programmes also form a significant part of the department's work.

Major research areas include: MR Linac, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), Image Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT) and the implementation of adaptive therapy. The instigation of national and local clinical trials, stereotactic radiotherapy, total body irradiation, radiopharmaceutical development, biologically targeted radionuclide therapy, and associated dosimetry, therapeutic ultrasound and diagnostic imaging are also areas of expertise.

Technology at The Royal Marsden is continuously being updated, requiring commissioning, testing and implementation into clinical practice, so that the latest state-of-the-art equipment can be used clinically. The department integrates the support of clinical services with research and clinical development, and provides education, teaching and practical training for specific applications of physics to oncology.

Support for QA in clinical trials

A team of physicists from Mount Vernon Hospital and The Royal Marsden provide support and advice to clinical trials in respect of physics QA and treatment planning. More information can be found at the NCRI Radiotherapy Clinical Trials Quality Assurance Group website.