Little Linac joins new Science Museum exhibition

A TOY to help children undergoing radiotherapy treatment for cancer with their anxiety is being included in a new exhibition exploring the revolution in science that is transforming cancer care.

The Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine’s ‘Little Linac’ kit of play bricks is one of the exhibits to be included in a major new exhibition by the Science Museum Group.

Opening at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester this October and the Science Museum in London in summer 2022, ‘Cancer Revolution: Science, innovation and hope’ is the first major object-rich exhibition to reveal the past, present and future of how cancer is prevented, detected and treated.

The exhibition will explore how, at a pivotal moment when one in two people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, more people than ever before are living longer, and better, with the disease and beyond. It will also present the stories of people affected by cancer, together with those who study and treat it, revealing how researchers, clinicians, policy makers and patients are fuelling progress.

Katie Dabin, Lead Curator of Cancer Revolution, said: ‘We’re so privileged to be able to display the Little Linac model and showcase this amazing project within the Science Museum Group’s forthcoming exhibition about cancer research. ‘Cancer Revolution: Science, innovation and hope’ is the first major object-rich exhibition to explore the past, present and future of how cancer is being prevented, detected and treated.

‘The exhibition shows how, because of research, more of us are living longer and better with and beyond cancer, yet we still acknowledge that cancer treatment at any age is a scary prospect. Thanks to project’s like IPEM’s Little Linac, we can show visitors how far treatments like radiotherapy have come, how such treatments are delivered with ever more precision, alongside ways in which tools like the Little Linac help to open up conversations with patients and families and about what treatment entails to help reduce fear and anxiety. Opening up conversations about cancer is at the heart of this exhibition.’

The Little Linac is already on permanent display at the Science Museum’s Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries in London.

The project was started by Professor David Brettle, Chief Scientific Officer at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust , when he was President of IPEM. His vision was for IPEM to provide every child in the UK undergoing radiotherapy treatment for cancer with a free kit of play bricks to make a model treatment machine (‘linac’, short for linear accelerator).

The Little Linac project has formally come to an end but since it began in 2018, almost 3,300 kits have been sold worldwide and thousands of Little Linacs have been donated to paediatric cancer centres across the UK to give to children undergoing treatment.

‘Cancer Revolution: Science, innovation and hope’ is a free exhibition. It opens on 22 October and runs until March 2022 at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester. Tickets can be booked here.

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Posted: Sep 27, 2021,
Categories: IPEM News,
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Author: Sean Edmunds
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