Nano-X cancer radiotherapy system

What if ... precision cancer radiation therapy didn't have to cost so much?

Nano-X


The Nano-X Cancer Radiotherapy Machine Program is a joint collaboration between The University of Sydney and The Nelune Comprehensive Cancer Centre with additional support from the Northern Sydney Cancer Centre and Westmead Hospital.

Cancer is the greatest economic health burden in the world, costing the global economy two trillion dollars annually and growing rapidly. It has recently surpassed cardiac disease as the leading cause of non-communicable mortality, accounting for one in every five deaths worldwide. Globally, radiotherapy is the recommended treatment for about half of all cancer patients. Less than one third actually receive it, meaning that millions of people around the world miss out – every year. There is a massive global demand for affordable radiotherapy machines. 21,800 new machines are needed by 2035 to augment and replace the 13,100 in use today.

Nano-X is a new class of cancer radiotherapy system that solves the complex problem of how to target a tumour with precision and accuracy even as the patient’s anatomy changes during treatment. Our system is built with real-time imaging guidance and adaptation at the heart of the treatment process; and complex processing tasks have been moved from hardware to software, enabling radical changes to machine design. Together, these innovations will ensure better treatment outcomes and increased safety and reliability.

The Nano-X system will deliver significant cost reductions, by introducing state-of-the-art clinical radiotherapy precision with a machine that has a significantly smaller footprint, much reduced shielding requirements and lower staff-to-patient ratios. We do this with fixed treatment and imaging beams, and a custom-made patient rotation system.

Figure 1: Nano-X Prototype Patient Rotation System

Figure 1: Nano-X Prototype Patient Rotation System

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Figure 2: Prototype Patient Rotation System under construction

Figure 2: Prototype Patient Rotation System under construction

Figure 3: Comparison of the Nano-X machine (left) versus a conventional machine (right) highlighting

Figure 3: Comparison of the Nano-X machine (left) versus a conventional machine (right) highlighting the machine footprint, size and room shielding differences.


The Nano-X prototype was funded through an Australian Research Council LIEF grant funds. It will consist of a bespoke patient rotation system and a refurbished LINAC with on-board imaging capabilities. It will be housed in a dedicated research bunker at the Nelune Comprehensive Cancer Centre (Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, NSW).

Research Opportunities Now Available

We are currently looking for outstanding postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows across physics, engineering and IT to join the Nano-X team and help to solve a range of challenging and innovative problems including:

  • Quantification of organ motion and deformation of rotating patients.
  • Development and optimisation of real-time tumour tracking for radiotherapy
  • Commissioning of the Nano-X prototype and planning for development of a first dedicated clinical centre.