Radiotherapy Late Effects Special Interest Group

Purpose of the group

The Radiotherapy Late effects special interest group (SiG) will provide a platform for therapeutic radiographers to discuss and develop services to support patients with ongoing consequences from their radiotherapy treatment.


  • Provide peer support for therapeutic radiographers to share knowledge, clinical expertise and to exchange ideas.
  • Promote and lead improvement and innovation in identifying, predicting and managing radiotherapy late effects. 
  • Contribute to the development of best practice guidelines and information for the health profession and patients.
  • Facilitate professional development and raise the profile of radiographers with an interest in late effects amongst the healthcare profession and the wider landscape including cancer charities.
  • Provide a forum for the discussion of training requirements and opportunities.
  • Develop and participate in research projects that will benefit patients with radiotherapy late effects.


Radiotherapy is an integral component of modern cancer care with 4 out of 10 people cured of cancer receiving radiotherapy treatment. Half of those diagnosed with cancer will live for at least 10 years, however 1 in 4 will have enduring physical or psychosocial effects of their cancer or its treatment.  It is estimated that 1 million people will be living with the consequences of cancer by 2030.

Radiotherapy late effects usually arise as a consequence of irradiating normal tissues.  Toxicities can affect any system of the body and are often permanent and progressive developing from at least 3 months to many decades after radiotherapy.  Physical symptoms can include pain, fibrosis, cardiovascular issues, gastrointestinal or urinary problems and second malignancies. These long term consequences and the associated psychological burden diminish quality of life leaving patients questioning “cured – but at what cost?”

Outcomes for cancer patients are a central theme of The NHS Long Term Plan and “by 2021, where appropriate every person diagnosed with cancer will have access to personalised care” including those with those with complex post-treatment needs. The Modernising Radiotherapy Service Specification (2019) states “it is expected that specialist late effects centres will manage and co-ordinate the provision of specialist services for complex late effects of cancer treatments”.

There are currently very few dedicated services for adult radiotherapy late effects.  There are some services led by a range of health professionals that retrospectively manage patients who have already developed late effects.  As therapeutic radiographers we have insight and understanding into all aspects of the radiotherapy pathway including dosimetry, treatment delivery and acute side effects.  Our training and roles, supporting patients throughout their radiotherapy treatment, gives therapeutic radiographers a unique opportunity to improve patient outcomes.  By predicting or preventing late effects we can offer patients more prospective management rather than waiting for life changing symptoms to appear.

Radiographers with an interest in late effects are often working alone, there is limited discussion or formal guidance. This forum aims provide support and to share clinical expertise and experience to benefit both patients and therapeutic radiographers.


Lisa Durrant
Macmillan Consultant Radiographer for radiotherapy late effects
Beacon Radiotherapy
Musgrove Park Hospital, Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, Taunton.  


Emma Hallam
Macmillan Consultant Radiographer for radiotherapy late effects
Nottingham Radiotherapy Centre
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottingham.


Membership is free to therapeutic radiographers or any member of the SoR with an interest in radiotherapy late effects.


The forum will meet at least once a year (usually in London but subject to change).

Meeting dates will be arranged at the end of each meeting and advertised to all members via the forum.

Special Interest Groups For Radiotherapy Webinar Series

The Late Effects Special Interest Group is dedicated to forming a network of support for radiographers across the UK. It helps promote a late effects service in all radiotherapy centres to support patients with the consequences of treatment. 

In this session, you will understand the important role that the therapeutic radiographer has played in managing and supporting symptoms. Lisa Durrant presents the importance of developing a network of support in your career.

Emma Hallam will also share information on the referrals seen at the Nottingham late effects service since 2013.

To learn more about our Special Interest Groups for Radiotherapy, head to our hub page 

All webinars from the series will be available to watch via our On Demand Webinar Library