A Helping Hand from Manchester

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The Christie Hospital and Holt Radium Institute in Manchester, Engeland

A remarkable plea is made by the chairman of the British Association of Radiology in the British Journal of Radiology published in November 1943 [39]. Professor Ralston Paterson foresees the damage to and the deficiencies of radiology departments on the European continent after the war. He calls on his colleagues in England to provide assistance ("A Helping Hand") in the coming years by offering training and providing equipment to help their colleagues in Europe get back on their feet. 

"Cannot we share (our) potentialities with our less fortunate comrades? …
This (will) not be an exchange system. Our workers would go at our expense and continue on our payrolls. Their trainees would be brought across as our guests at the expense of the receiving British centre"

Paterson indicates in a sketch showing the assignment of tasks that he would personally  like to take charge of the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI)  in Amsterdam and that is what he does. In 1945 he reaches an agreement with the Clinical Director Wassink and for the next 20 years, trainee radiation oncologists from the NKI are sent to Manchester to specialize. Many of the insights and new techniques implemented in the NKI during this period are adopted from the Christie Hospital. 

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Prof. Dr. Ralston Paterson and his wife Dr. Edith Paterson

Since 1930 Ralston Paterson heads a team of physicians and physicists that makes the Christie Hospital and Holt Radium Institute in Manchester a world renowned "centre of excellence". From 1938 onwards, his wife Edith became involved in research at the institute. She is a renowned pioneer in radiobiology,paediatriconcology and chemotherapy. The photograph shows her working with one of the first electron microscopes.

Bronnen & Publicaties

  • [39] BJR Vol XVI, Nr191, November 1943, p 351-353. “A Helping Hand” by Ralston Paterson. ,