Cross-Cutting Research Hubs

Supporting the RadNet Manchester Work Packages is a network of four cross-cutting hubs. These help to deliver these distinct work packages and support advanced radiotherapy technology and models.

The National Proton Biology Research Hub

Led by Professor Karen Kirkby, Professor Kaye Williams with Professor Ran MacKay, Dr Amy Chadwick and Prof Stuart Allan. The Proton Research Hub leverages facilities at the UK’s first NHS Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) Centre at The Christie with a dedicated Research Room located in the fourth clinical gantry space. A fully operational and commissioned pencil scanning beamline delivers high energy protons to various interchangeable ‘end-stations’ including the world’s largest hypoxia cabinet with integrated robot arm for high-throughput irradiation of in vitro samples. Work undertaken here will address the hypothesis that protons elicit a different biological, immunological and DNA response compared to photons. Researchers are studying the biological mechanisms that underpin proton FLASH radiotherapy (very short ultra-high dose rate ionising radiation shown to spare normal healthy tissues), and working on new multi-disciplinary collaboration with colleagues at Geoffrey Jefferson Brain Research Centre. The design, procurement and implementation of a second in vivo beamline is now underway.

The Clinical Informatics Hub

Led by Professor Corinne Faivre-Finn and Dr Gareth Price. The Clinical Informatics Hub supports the capture of real-time, real-world clinical outcomes using patient reported outcomes measures (PROMs) and patient reported experience measures (PREMS). Working with the Digital Cancer Centre (incorporating Christie digital and the UkCAT big data infrastructure) this infrastructure underpins the co-morbidity and polypharmacy modelling in WP2, and benefits from the routine capture of electronic PROMs/PREMs that is rolling out across The Christie for all disease groups and treatment modalities. Biostatisticians and data managers within this hub support WP2 by applying mathematical and statistical modelling techniques to routine observational radiotherapy data including imaging and treatment data to inform novel small animal experiments with the ultimate aim of individualising treatment for each patient.

Translational and Early Phase Radiotherapy Trials Hub

Led by Professor Ananya Choudhury with Professor Catharine West, Professor Caroline Dive, Dr. Natalie Cook and Dr. Gerben Borst. This hub focuses on integrating biomarker science into the development of phase 1 feasibility trials using radiotherapy plus a combined modality. Leveraging infrastructure and expertise provided by the Cancer Biomarkers Centre, and Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre at The Christie, researchers can drive forward novel radiotherapy combination clinical trials, technical radiotherapy trials and imaging trials that relate to radiotherapy. Standardisation of translational methods across centres is important to facilitate collaboration, data sharing and validation, therefore researchers are working towards standardisation of protocols for sample collection, processing and analysis of cfDNA as an early indicator of radiotherapy toxicity and response.

Allied Health Professionals Doctoral Academy Hub

Led by Dr Cynthia Eccles and Professor Peter Hoskin. The AHP Doctoral Academy is the first of its kind in the UK focusing on training the next generation of radiographers in advanced and novel radiotherapy techniques. Providing formal doctoral research training through The University of Manchester, current students are integrated into multi-disciplinary teams to undertake studies into abdominal motion management, MR guided adaptive radiotherapy in cervix cancer and hypoxia guided pelvic radiotherapy. The aim is to build capacity and develop future research leaders resulting in a culture change across the UK and rapid deployment of research innovations into busy NHS clinics.

Further details of this hub are available on our Doctoral Training Academy webpage, and opportunities for radiation researchers will be posted on the Research Opportunities pages of the main Centre website.

Navigation

About CRUK RadNet Manchester

CRUK RadNet Manchester is a £16.5m Radiation Research Unit in collaboration with The Christie

RadNet Work Packages

RadNet Manchester will help to pioneer new discoveries in radiotherapy split across three specific work packages of research.

Meet the RadNet Team

Meet the team of RadNet Manchester academics, programme managers, students and professional services staff.

Governance

Discover how CRUK RadNet Manchester is governed, and how we interact with other centres across Manchester.

RadNet Facilities and Infrastructure

CRUK RadNet Manchester benefits from the existing infrastructure and facilities within Manchester across the various strategic partners of the CRUK Manchester Centre.

AHP Doctoral Academy

Providing training and development for Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) including radiographers.