Northampton Hospital treats first prostate cancer patient with HDR
19 February 2013
Northampton General Hospital (NGH) has used monotherapy HDR
brachytherapy for the first time for a patient with prostate cancer,
enabling the patient to make just two visits to the clinic for
HDR brachytherapy uses a single high-intensity radiation source
on the end of a thin cable that is temporarily inserted — via remote
afterloader — into catheters positioned in the disease target.
Traditional external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) requires the
patient to undergo as many as 40 therapy sessions over seven weeks.
Planning for HDR brachytherapy was significantly streamlined with
the HDR Real-time Prostate Solution supplied by Nucletron, an Elekta
Company, which provides real-time ultra-sound planning capabilities.
"Monotherapy HDR brachytherapy using this form of brachytherapy
as the only treatment will be used for patients who are not suited
for EBRT due to medical reasons," says Chris Elwell MD, clinical
oncologist at NGH. "This first patient had inflammatory bowel
disease and could not tolerate a full course of EBRT. HDR
brachytherapy was his best option, because it allowed him to have
just two treatment sessions separated by 10 days and enabled us to
reduce the radiotherapy dose to his rectum. In this way, the
patient's travel to the hospital was greatly reduced and he could
return to normal life more quickly."
The complexity of planning HDR brachytherapy demanded an advanced
solution, which NGH physicians found in HDR Real-time Prostate
Solution, which provided live ultrasound images in real time for
contouring, planning and optimization.
"Because we run a busy department with high patient throughput,
live ultrasound planning with HDR Real-time Prostate Solution was
critical," Dr. Elwell says. "It provided an efficient and
streamlined workflow for HDR brachytherapy."
Monotherapy HDR brachytherapy is the subject of rigorous
multicenter clinical research trials in the United Kingdom, with new
treatment protocols emerging for the procedure. Peter Hoskin, MD
consultant clinical oncologist at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, has
collected data that point toward the therapy's clinical efficacy.