Twenty years after a consultant at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre introduced a revolutionary radiotherapy technique to the UK, Merseyside’s specialist cancer hospital is celebrating the launch of its brand new state of the art Papillon suite.
The Papillon technique, a contact radiotherapy procedure developed for the treatment of rectal cancer, was introduced in 1993 by Professor Arthur Sun Myint, who has been at the forefront of its development since then. The treatment means patients have a better quality of life as they don’t require major surgery and the procedure itself takes a matter of minutes.
The dedicated new Papillon Suite has the ability to treat an increasing number of patients year on year and will now operate three days a week. The specialist team of radiotherapists, radiographers and physicists at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre has observed a 30 per cent increase in patients treated to date, rising from 100 patients per year to 130 and the new facility will enable this to grow even more.
Professor Myint, commented; “It’s an honour to be able to open to doors to our new dedicated Papillon Suite. Myself and the specialist team at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre has worked hard to enable Papillon to be recognised as a revolutionary form of treatment for rectal cancers and the increasing number of patients we are treating demonstrates we’re well on the way to doing this. The new Suite has allowed us to significantly extend our capacity and as a result, I’m now running clinics three days a week.”
The new state-of-the-art facility will include a dedicated waiting area, spacious treatment rooms and a relaxing environment to help put patients at ease and will be formally launched on Friday 27th September 2013.
Don Taylor, 82, was a professional skier and refused surgery after being diagnosed with rectal cancer as he wanted to be able to continue with his active lifestyle. After meeting Professor Myint and opting for the Papillon technique, he’s now fit and well and is able to continue with his annual skiing holidays to Austria.
Don commented; “It’s fantastic that The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre is opening a new suite to extend its Papillon services. I can’t thank the team enough for the treatment and level of care they gave me, as well as the subsequent results. Papillon is a truly remarkable technique and it’s great that many more people are now accessing it.”
Papillon is recommended for early stage rectal cancer patients who are not fit enough for general anaesthesia. One of the primary benefits of the treatment is that it avoids patients needing to have surgery which can result in the need for either a temporary or permanent stoma.
The department has also seen an increase in patients following the government’s introduction of the bowel cancer screening programme and the increasing awareness of Papillon amongst clinicians and patients.