Grand Challenge Network+ in Proton Therapy

  • Funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
  • Total publications:38 publications

Grant number: EP/N027167/1

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Key facts

  • Disease

  • Funder

    UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
  • Principle Investigator

  • Research Location

    United Kingdom, Europe
  • Lead Research Institution

    University of Manchester
  • Research Category

    Secondary impacts of disease, response & control measures

  • Research Subcategory

    Indirect health impacts

  • Special Interest Tags


  • Study Subject


  • Clinical Trial Details


  • Broad Policy Alignment


  • Age Group


  • Vulnerable Population


  • Occupations of Interest



The aim is to estimate the impact of COVID-19 on proton therapy and radiotherapy (RT) services more generally at national and regional level across the UK. We will use our mathematical model of radiotherapy demand (MALTHUS) which was commissioned for the NHS by Prof Sir Mike Richards when he was Cancer Czar. Through adapting MALTHUS we will be able to understand the impact of COVID-19 on radiotherapy practice across the UK and to use it as a scenario modelling tool to provide a long-term assessment of how the provision of radiotherapy will change for different cancer anatomical sites as a result of COVID-19. MALTHUS uses factors relating to patient case-mix, indications for radiotherapy treatment and evidence-based radiotherapy fractionation which are encoded into decision trees representing cancers treated by radiotherapy. Base data for local-level population and cancer registrations were obtained from the National Cancer Intelligence Network and Office of National Statistics. Malthus uses a sophisticated discrete-event simulation algorithm that can provide statistically robust estimates of treatment demand. MALTHUS will be adapted to include new RT evidence and protocols, which reflect the current COVID-19 changes occurring within the NHS. This will allow for scenario-based service simulations that evaluates the practice changes, current reduction in cancer patients and potential backlogs of patients requiring RT and what it will mean for services and patients. Economic factors will be included through integrating NHS tariff charges. Initial service data will be obtained through the Christie NHS Foundation Trust's Big Data Radiotherapy project. MALTHUS is an active framework model used nationally and internationally. MALTHUS is already collaborating with Greater Manchester Cancer (part of the devolved health system) and the CRUK Radiotherapy Policy team. We will work closely with the Christie to develop the service scenarios and collaborate with their radiotherapy and lung cancer research projects, who are gathering COVID-19 RT activity and patient outcome data. This will enable the investigation of wider health economic impacts of changes made to current practice through using QALYs and cost-effectiveness analysis. The project will collaborate with two additional cancer centres to trial scenario simulations. If successful, we will work with national bodies (such as CTRad and RCR) to make the simulations available to all NHS radiotherapy services.

Publicationslinked via Europe PMC

Last Updated:38 minutes ago

View all publications at Europe PMC

Proposing a Clinical Model for RBE Based on Proton Track-End Counts.

A computational approach to quantifying miscounting of radiation-induced double-strand break immunofluorescent foci.

An Update to the Malthus Model for Radiotherapy Utilisation in England.

The suitability of micronuclei as markers of relative biological effect.

In regard to Van Marlen: FLASH radiotherapy: Considerations for multibeam and hypofractionation dose delivery.

Estimating the percentage of patients who might benefit from proton beam therapy instead of X-ray radiotherapy.

Towards harmonizing clinical linear energy transfer (LET) reporting in proton radiotherapy: a European multi-centric study.

A Monte Carlo study of different LET definitions and calculation parameters for proton beam therapy.

FLASH radiotherapy: Considerations for multibeam and hypofractionation dose delivery.