About Radiotherapy in Edinburgh

Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with centuries of history. It has stunning scenery and architecture and is surrounded by beautiful countryside and coastlines. It is the world’s festival capital and the Old and the New Towns are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There are many other world-class visitor attractions and outdoor pursuits.

The Edinburgh Cancer Centre provides a comprehensive clinical/technical and scientific service for all their patients, working as part of a fully integrated team. We have 6 Varian linear accelerators all with Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT) and Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) capabilities including 2 stereotactic machines with the additional specialized imaging system, ExacTrac, installed. We expect to have a 7th service efficiency machine in the near future. Pre-treatment imaging includes 2 Philips Big-Bore CT scanners and access to PET-CT and MRI scanners and we expect to have an MR-simulator in the near future.

The Department of Oncology Physics has a long tradition of research in radiotherapy physics, medical imaging and medical image analysis. The goal of this research is to improve patient care by investigating new, and improving existing, approaches for the delivery of radiotherapy. To achieve this the department works closely with clinicians, radiographers, physicists, engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians, chemists.

Interesting Facts

In the 1970s the department hosted a cyclotron facility for neutron therapy – at the time neutron therapy was considered beneficial for treating hypoxic tumour cells [1].

James Clerk Maxwell, born in 1831 in Edinburgh, was one of the greatest scientists to have ever lived. His most significant discovery was the theory of electromagnetism. Einstein famously said, “The work of James Clerk Maxwell changed the world forever” [2].

The James Clerk Maxwell Foundation continue to support cancer research in Edinburgh [3].


1.Svensson H and Lanberg T. Neutron therapy – the historical background. Acta Oncol 1994; 33(3): 227-31.

2. The James Clerk Maxwell Foundation. http://www.clerkmaxwellfoundation.org/

3.The James Clerk Maxwell Foundation Cancer Research Fund. http://www.maxwellcancerfund.org/about.htm

Dedicated to excellence in patient care and research