Amethyst Radiotherapy completes major upgrade at Queen Square

Cancer treatment provider Amethyst Radiotherapy has installed new Gamma Knife technology at The Queen Square Radiosurgery Centre in London.

Specialist cranage was used to lift a nine tonne Gamma Knife source loader and five tonne radiation vault into the site. The device is used to precisely position radioactive sources, specifically cobalt-60, within the Gamma Knife machine and is vital for the effectiveness and safety of the treatment, which is used for patients with various neurological conditions and metastatic brain tumours.

Amethyst Radiotherapy is one of the largest providers of radiotherapy services across Europe, specifically Stereotactic Radiosurgery. The business took over The Queen Square Radiosurgery Centre in 2020. Housed within University College London Hospitals’ (UCLH) National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, the centre provides treatment for both NHS and private patients and together with the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, forms a major Centre of Excellence for neuroscience teaching, training, and research.

Neil Kitchen, consultant neurosurgeon and medical director for the Queen Square Gamma Knife Unit said: ‘The reloading of our state of the art gamma knife treatment platform with brand new cobalt radiation sources will halve treatment times for our patients making their therapy less onerous and allowing us to treat many more patients efficiently thus reducing waiting times.’

The complicated installation was further hampered by an unrelated protest march which prevented the access and delivery of equipment and vehicles not following the temporary parking restrictions.

Amethyst UK director of clinical operations Daniel Lumley said: ‘The logistical challenges of transporting and installing the source loader and radiation vault were formidable, particularly given the dense urban environment of central London.

‘The use of a crane was essential for positioning these heavy and sensitive components with precision. Our team’s expertise in navigating these complexities was critical to the successful upgrade of our facilities – I’d like to thank all involved, from within Amethyst and the outside contractors who contributed to the project’s success.’