Staff from the Kent Oncology Centre at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW) have been passing on their expert knowledge to other NHS staff to help cancer patients across the country.
Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Albert Edwards, Radiographer, Sara Hodgkinson and Consultant Urologist, Alastair Henderson, have worked with The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in London, to mentor their staff for their first ever LDR (Low Dose Rate) prostate brachytherapy on 7 June, using cutting-edge 4D brachytherapy technology.
The procedure involves treating prostate cancer by implanting the gland with tiny radioactive ‘seeds’ under ultrasound guidance.
The specialist technique means patients receive more targeted treatment and have reduced side effects as they only require one short 45-60 minute operation, instead of having to be anaesthetised on two separate occasions.
The Royal Marsden team have recently converted to the new 4d brachytherapy technique and visited the Kent Oncology Centre in Maidstone twice before successfully carrying out their own procedure alongside the MTW team, with another mentored case taking place on 5 July.
MTW is one of the largest centres in the UK to provide the treatment after performing over 750 implants since 2006. The knowledge of the team is in huge demand after they recently hosted colleagues from as far as the Netherlands, who are looking to also carry out their first procedures.
Dr Albert Edwards, Consultant Clinical Oncologist for MTW, said: “Prostate LDR brachytherapy is an important curative treatment for prostate cancer but is offered at a limited number of centres in the UK.
“As a busy and experienced prostate brachytherapy centre, we are delighted that our expertise, skills and knowledge is being used to help other colleagues, who are keen to improve the treatment they are delivering to increasing numbers of patients with prostate cancers.”