The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre has reached a milestone in lung cancer care, treating its 100th patient with a ground-breaking radiotherapy technique, Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy (SABR). The centre was one of the first in the UK to introduce the treatment and is now mentoring other facilities across the country to introduce SABR to even more lung cancer patients nationwide.
SABR is an advanced procedure which uses state-of-the-art equipment and scans to precisely target the radiotherapy to treat small, early stage lung tumours.
Dr Alison Scott, from the physics department at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre said: "SABR is an effective and less invasive alternative to an operation, for those patients who are suitable. Not only does it remove the need for surgery, it is delivered significantly quicker than conventional radiotherapy treatment too. It is not unusual for a course of radiotherapy to require up to 20 visits to the Centre for treatment over four weeks, but SABR can be delivered in as few as three. Added to which, in suitable patients SABR has similar success rates to surgical treatment, so we're really proud to be pioneering this service here."
Dilys Jones, 71 from Caernarfon in North Wales was the 100th SABR patient at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre. She was diagnosed with lung cancer in April of this year, after going to see her GP with a suspected chest infection.
She said: "When I was diagnosed, I was very nervous about having an operation. I searched quite a few different avenues before being offered an alternative and was introduced to the team at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre. The staff put me at ease right from day one and I couldn't recommend the radiotherapy highly enough. I had five SABR treatments which took fifteen minutes each and was able to go straight home afterwards. I have just had my final treatment and am feeling positive for my next scan later on this month."
The SABR programme at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre is continuously improving, with new methods of treatment and treatment machines being introduced.
Alison Scott added: "The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre is at the forefront of this treatment and I'm delighted we're able to share our expertise with other facilities. We're playing an integral role in the national consortium that is expanding the safe use of SABR across the UK. Currently, the Trust is acting as a mentor to another radiotherapy centre in the North of England, helping it to develop its own SABR treatments."