Hermitage Medical Clinic

Radiation Therapy Bunker for a CyberKnife

What was the essential need?
NELCO was asked to solve the dilemma of how to retrofit an unused CT simulation room next to an existing radiotherapy bunker in order to house the first CyberKnife robotic-treatment delivery system in Ireland.

How did the project take shape?
Extensive planning, communication and coordination were required among multiple stakeholders to ensure that the design incorporated the correct protection standards and that all parties understood those standards. NELCO collaborated with the hospital’s radiation protection staff, government radiation protection experts, architects, shielding designers, the client’s user group and the estate’s management staff responsible for the building.

Where did NELCO expertise make an impact?
CyberKnife has the capacity to direct high-energy radiation beams in every conceivable direction. Combined with the allotted space, this presented a unique set of design and logistical challenges that NELCO solved using a complex combination of lead, steel, normal and high density concrete. In addition, NELCO addressed an overarching challenge related to the job site — materials needed to be suitable for manual handling, so the room could be constructed with minimal use of heavy lifting components.

What were the outstanding results?
The lead physicist for the Hermitage project has this to say in an open letter:
Being involved in a number of bunker designs, I would highly recommend NELCO as a company of high workmanship… from the outset this was a very professional company to work with… to meet the very strict radiation dose constraints for bunker design in Ireland… the design was novel, and I presented the work at an international radiation conference held in Varna, Bulgaria last May. The paper was voted best in its category.