GATE (Geant4 Application for Emission Tomography) is a Monte Carlo simulation platform developed by the OpenGATE collaboration since 2001 and first publicly released in 2004. Dedicated to the modelling of planar scintigraphy, single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET) acquisitions, this platform is widely used to assist PET and SPECT research. A recent extension of this platform, released by the OpenGATE collaboration as GATE V6, now also enables modelling of x-ray computed tomography and radiation therapy experiments. This paper presents an overview of the main additions and improvements implemented in GATE since the publication of the initial GATE paper (Jan et al 2004 Phys. Med. Biol. 49 4543-61). This includes new models available in GATE to simulate optical and hadronic processes, novelties in modelling tracer, organ or detector motion, new options for speeding up GATE simulations, examples illustrating the use of GATE V6 in radiotherapy applications and CT simulations, and preliminary results regarding the validation of GATE V6 for radiation therapy applications. Upon completion of extensive validation studies, GATE is expected to become a valuable tool for simulations involving both radiotherapy and imaging.