Stereotactic Body Radio-Surgery Therapy The replacement programme is still in place; the 2nd Linac was replaced last year and became operational in August 2012, this has allowed for the development of IMRT and IGRT. The 3rd Linac was removed earlier this month and the bunker is now being refurbished to be ready to accommodate the Stereotactic Linac at the end of March 2013. The Linac will be installed and commissioned throughout the spring and summer and we are planning on being clinical in September 2013. Derriford Oncology Centre Derriford Hospital
Stereotactic Body Radio-Surgery Therapy, Good News for the New Year:-…..The strategy for the intended action plan has been announced recently for Derriford Hospital, aspiring to be the Cancer Hub for the Peninsula.In January the old LINAC Machines will be removed and in February/March the new S R S Novalis Radio-Surgery unit will be installed with commissioning, training and testing being carried out through to July. It is anticipated that these New, Radical Services will go live for patient treatment in August!The 25th April 2012 saw a meeting between Plymouth Hospital NHS Trust's procurement department and the representatives of Varian Medical Systems UK Ltd in partnership with Brainlab LTD to which Operation Henry was invited. By this time last year for the first time in the UK, cancer patients were starting to receive treatment with Novalis Tx Radiosurgery this device gives the chance of a cure to those with inoperable tumours and offers the possibility to perform precise painless treatment to tumours in a single patient visit. Exciting development of the objective whereby Plymouth Derriford Hospital becomes the cancer treatment hub within the South West of the UK is taking place. Operation Henry has been confirmed to be one of the charities dedicated to assist patients from the South West Peninsula to take advantage of this treatment. Further developments are in place which will be reported upon in the near future. Plymouth Hospital N.H.S. has confirmed that within the next month a new LINAC Radio-therapy unit will be installed in addition to their commitment of the installation of a Stereotactic Radiotherapy –SBRT machine early in 2013. These facilities for treatment will benefit the beneficiaries of ‘Operation Henry’ within the area of activities being from Bristol to Bournemouth and all points west.
The Future of Stereotactic Body Radio-therapy At 7.00 p.m on the 8th February a debate proposed by the Member of Parliament ( Lib:Dem:) for Wells, the Honourable Tessa Munt M.P. , prompted by one of her constituents a Mrs Kerry Dunn of Somerset, under the title of :-‘ The Future of Stereotactic Body Radio-therapy( SBRT)’ promoted interesting exchanges between the Member of Parliament ( Labour) for Livingston The Honourable Graeme Morrice M.P. and the Minister of State for Health Paul Burstow M.P. The debate revolved around the various benefits of S B R T provided by the ‘ Cyberknife’ and other comparative machines and it was stated that only seven centres are available in the U.K. for this method of treatment of which only three included the use of ‘ Cyberknife’. In answer to questions put by Greame Morrice ,Paul Burstow reminded the House that S B R T is deemed innovative and that ‘Cyberknife ‘ is not the only machine that can deliver suitable treatment of tumours without damaging surrounding tissues as would be the after- effects of the conventional methods of treatment currently adopted. He agreed that this method of treatment would benefit those sufferers who have been diagnosed with early stages of the disease but reminded the House that as a brand name ‘ Cyberknife ‘ has yet be clinically proven by reports from the Royal College of Radio- Therapists, the National Cancer Action Team and the E.N.R.I.G headed up by Professor Sir Mike Richards. Before the Adjournment Paul Burstow informed the House that £150 million is to be spent within the NH S over the next five years and that the Tariffs relating to this area of Cancer treatment would notbe available until 2014.
Tessa Munt said ‘I have been trying to establish how much the NHS is using the latest radiotherapy techniques to help cure cancer patients in this country. I have asked some 50 parliamentary questions and received not a single satisfactory answer.’ Conventional radiotherapy uses large beams of radiation, takes a long time to kill cancer tumours and often damages healthy tissue in the process. The newest form of treatment, Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy Treatment (SBRT), uses small, multiple and highly focused beams of energy that delivers radiation directly on to the tumour and avoids damage to healthy tissue. Ms Munt added ‘In the US, and for our neighbours in Europe, SBRT is fast become the standard against which treatment for cancer patients is measured. The Secretary of State for Health told me in the House of Commons that 20 high tech machines in 25% of our Centres provided SBRT. When I asked him for the evidence for this he didn’t have any. So I decided to find out for myself.’ All bar one of the cancer centres in the UK replied to Ms Munt’s request which was for a wide range of information about SBRT. The results showed that the Secretary of State was wrong to claim that the NHS was making SBRT available to cancer patients. Ms Munt went on to say ‘This survey shows that the Secretary of State for Health has little idea of how cancer patients are being treated in this country. There are nowhere near 20 machines delivering SBRT in the NHS. Equally, the idea that 25% of our cancer centres are providing this new treatment is fanciful.’ Details of the survey will be revealed by Ms Munt during tonight’s adjournment debate.