Radiotherapy 2 (SPE158)

30 credits

Aim of this module

This module provides the trainee with the knowledge that underpins the specialist rotation in Radiotherapy Physics in the third year of the MSc.


To develop the traineeā€™s knowledge and experience in planning and quality assurance associated with brachytherapy.

Computing Related to Radiotherapy

To provide the trainee with development and experience relating to a range of computer-based applicationsĀ  within radiotherapy.

Important information

The academic parts of this module will be detailed and communicated to you by your university. Please contact them if you have questions regarding this module and its assessments. The module titles in your MSc may not be exactly identical to the work-based modules shown in the e-portfolio. Your modules will be aligned, however, to ensure that your academic and work-based learning are complimentary.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Critically compare 3D dose calculation algorithms, their input requirements and the limitations of the methods employed.
  2. Discuss how to acquire beam data for commissioning a treatment planning system.
  3. Describe and evaluate a range of advanced treatment planning techniques.
  4. Discuss and critically appraise brachytherapy techniques and treatment planning.
  5. Describe a range of radiotherapy treatments using unsealed sources.
  6. Critically evaluate the role of imaging in radiotherapy treatment planning and delivery.
  7. Discuss and appraise the radiotherapy IT environment.

Indicative Content


  • The application, limitations and use of the following modalities in radiotherapy:
    • CT, including cone beam CT
    • MRI
    • PET/CT
    • SPECT/CT
    • simulation
    • CT simulation
    • verification imaging and imaging for IGRT
  • Reconstruction methods and image registration


  • The harmful effects of radiotherapy
  • The accuracy and precision of planning and dosimetry based on ICRU and RCR recommendations
  • The commissioning process for new treatment techniques
  • Advanced radiotherapy techniques, including:
    • intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
    • IGRT
    • tomotherapy
    • 4D adaptive radiotherapy
    • proton beam therapy
    • emerging technologies
  • Patient immobilisation and shielding
  • Gating techniques

Brachytherapy and Unsealed Source Treatments

  • The scientific basis and radiobiology of the use of radioactive implants and unsealed source treatments in radiotherapy
  • After-loading and dosimetry equipment: application, quality assurance limitations and use
  • Brachytherapy dose calculation algorithms, input requirements and limitations of the methods
  • Unsealed and sealed source treatments, including preparation, administration, protection arrangements and decontamination
  • Record keeping for radioactive sources

Treatment Planning

  • 3D dose algorithms, their limitations and use
  • Beam data requirements for a treatment planning system
  • Forward and inverse IMRT treatment planning
  • Treatment plans for a range of complex conditions, including total body irradiation and total skin electron treatment


  • The commissioning process for new equipment with reference to:
    • LINACs, orthovoltage and other treatment machines
    • treatment planning systems
    • imaging equipment
  • Radiotherapy IT and networking:
    • virtual simulation
    • verification software
    • oncology patient management systems
    • networking and the network environment
    • system management, configuration control and software release
    • interoperability, DICOM RT, HL7 and messaging standards
    • links to hospital administration systems
    • legislative framework for IT, data protection
  • Regulatory standards including IEC601 and the Medical Devices Directive as applied to software