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Hands-on at the exhibit

  • Detect disease by finding a radioactive signal and image the radioactive organ
  • Play an interactive game to choose the best type of radiation to kill a tumour
  • Rank the radioactivity of everyday items and listen to the ‘radioactive rap'

Find out more

Radiation can be good for you, especially when harnessed for early cancer diagnosis and precision radiotherapy.

Despite it's bad reputation, it can be a lifesaver when used to detect, monitor or treat human diseases. At this exhibit you will find out how radioactivity is being exploited for earlier cancer diagnosis and targeted treatments with fewer side effects. 

Perhaps it is not surprising that radiation is often thought of as the bad guy. In fiction, radiation creates mutant comic book characters, while terrible real-world accidents such as Chernobyl and Fukushima make a lasting impression. However, it is used every day in hospitals around the world. At King’s College London, researchers are investigating new ways to use radioactivity for cancer care. Their approach is to attach radioactivity to molecules that find and stick to cancer cells. The radioactive signal can then be detected by a scanner to produce an image, revealing not only the presence of cancer in the body but how much there is and where in the body it has spread to. This method can also be used for precision radiation therapy – killing cancer cells with radioactivity but affecting less of the surrounding healthy tissue.

Find out more about Imaging Sciences at King’s College London and the Centre for Medical Engineering. You can learn whether all radiation damage is bad for you in this Soapbox Science talk from lead exhibitor, Dr Samantha Terry.

Presented by: King’s College London, Lightpoint Medical and Wellcome/EPSRC Centre for Medical Engineering at King's.