Principal Radiotherapy Physicist

Title: Principal Radiotherapy Physicist
Section: Radiotherapy Physics

Gail moved to the UK from Malta in 2001 to follow her ambition of being a Radiotherapy Physicist. She obtained an MSc in Medical Physics at the University of Aberdeen, with distinction, in 2002. Gail worked at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre (2003-2010). In 2010 she took up a new post at RSFT as Principle Radiotherapy Physicist. She was QA Lead (2012-2018) of the UK SABR Consortium during which time she co-led a national Lung SABR dosimetry audit and was instrumental in driving forward SABR QA. From 2018-2022 she was a member of the National Cancer Institute Clinical and Translational Radiotherapy Research Working Group.

In 2018 Gail was awarded the Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Fellowship. This opportunity allowed her to develop her leadership abilities further, learn how to better communicate her scientific ideas and benefit from the mentorship of senior leaders. These new skills have enabled her to highlight the contributions of Healthcare Scientists to clinically driven research and development. Gail is the current Lead Healthcare Scientist at RSFT.

In 2019, Gail was awarded a NIHR Doctorate research fellowship focussing on tumour motion during Lung SABR. Gail’s PhD is in partnership with the medical physics and radiotherapy departments of RSFT, CVSSP and the medical physics group at the University of Surrey and the MEMPHYS Institute of the National Physical Laboratory ─ a new centre that works closely with the NHS, academia and industry to enable the rapid and widespread implementation of a host of new diagnostic and therapeutic technologies. She is using technology developed at CVSSP (Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing, University of Surrey) to image the surface of the patient’s chest combined with her expertise in Radiotherapy to design a new method for planning the delivery of highly targeted doses to lung tumours.

Gail is currently responsible for the development and implementation of innovative superior treatments for SABR for primary lung and oligometastatic cancer at RSFT. She has also previously mentored other UK centres in commissioning a SABR service and continues to be part of the RSFT mentoring team in supporting the further expansion of SABR.


  • Distefano G, Lee J, Jafari S, Gouldstone C, Baker C, Mayles H, Clark C, A national dosimetry audit for stereotactic ablative radiotherapy in lung. Radiotherapy and Oncology 2017; 122: 406-410
  • Jafari SM, Jordan TJ, Distefano G, Bradley DA, Spyrou NM, Nisbet A, Clark CH. Feasibility of using glass-bead thermoluminescent dosimeters for radiotherapy treatment plan verification.Br J Radiol. 2015;88:1055
  • Lee J, Mayles H.M.O., Baker C.R., Jafari S.M., Distefano G., Clark C.H. OC-0154: UK SABR Consortium Lung Dosimetry Audit; relative dosimetry results. Radiotherapy and Oncology. 2015; 115: S74 - S75
  • Distefano G, Jafari S.M., Lee J., Gouldstone C., Mayles H.M.O., Clark C.H.. OC-0155: UK SABR Consortium Lung Dosimetry Audit; absolute dosimetry results. Radiotherapy and Oncology 2015;115:S75 - S76
  • Jafari SM, Distefano G, Lee J, Gouldstone C, Mayles H, Bradley DA, Spyrou NM, Nisbet A, Clark CH. EP-1561: Feasibility of using glass bead TLDs for a postal dosimetry audit of MV radiotherapy photon beams. Radiotherapy and Oncology. 2015:115;876-877
  • Distefano G., Baker A., Clark C.H., Scott A.J.D., Webster G.J. EP-1755: Stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy in the UK: National implementation and current practices. Are we there yet? Radiotherapy and Oncology 12/2014;
  • Distefano G, Baker A, Scott AJ, Webster GJ. UK SABR Consortium Quality Assurance Group. Survey of stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy in the UK by the QA group on behalf of the UKSABR Consortium. Br J Radiol. 2014;87:1037
  • Jain P, Baker A, Distefano G, Scott AJ, Webster GJ, Hatton MQ. Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy in the UK: current status and developments. Br J Radiol. 2013;86:1029
  • Baker A, Clark C, Ciurlionis L, Distefano G, Hatton M, Jain P, Lilley J, Mayles H, Miles E, Scott A,Webster G. 177 Clinical implementation of stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) for NSCLC in the UK Lung Cancer 01/2013; 79:S61
  • Baker A, Clark CH, Ciurlionis L, Distefano G, Hatton M, Jain P, Lilley J, Mayles H, Miles EA, Scott A, Webster G Clinical implementation of Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy (SABR) for NSCLC in the UK: On behalf of the UK SABR Consortium Quality Assurance Group BTOG meeting Jan 2013
  • Distefano G., Garikipati, S., Grimes, H., & Hatton, M. Current status of stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy in the UK: six years of progress BJR|Open 2019 1:1 5.
  • ESTRO 2019 Poster. Distefano G. et al. EP-1658 Stereotactic Ablative Body Radiotherapy: UK implementation and current practices. Progress since 2012. Radiotherapy and Oncology. 2019; 133: S892 - S893 e.
  • ESTRO 2019 Poster. Chandy E., Conway L, Distefano G et al. EP-1953 Lung tumour dynamics during SABR: Analysis of 415 CBCTs using a semi-automated contouring technique. Radiotherapy and Oncology. 2019; 133: S1065
  • Anastasi G, Bertholet, J., Poulsen, P., Roggen, T., Garibaldi, C., Tilly, N., Booth, J. T., Oelfke, U., Heijmen, B., & Aznar, M. C.. Patterns of practice for adaptive and real-time radiation therapy (POP-ART RT) part I: Intra-fraction breathing motion management. Radiotherapy and Oncology. 2020.
  • Bertholet J, Anastasi G et al. Patterns of practice for adaptive and real-time radiation therapy (POP-ART RT) part II: Offline and online plan adaption for interfractional changes. Radiother Oncol. 2020; 153:88-96. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2020.06.017. Epub 2020 Jun 21. PMID: 32579998; PMCID: PMC7758781.
  • UK SABR Consortium Online Conf 2021, Poster: Anastasi G. Clinical review and analysis of 4DCBCT acquisitions for lung SABR