Edinburgh Cancer Centre first in Scotland to offer high dose rate brachytherapy as treatment for prostate cancer

A cancer patient who was the first to receive a new prostate cancer treatment at an Edinburgh centre has described the ‘first class’ care he received.

Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 4:45 pm
A 3D model of an HDR prostate brachytherapy implant

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Roderick Sanderson, 62, was the first patient to receive high dose rate brachytherapy (HDR-BT) at the Edinburgh Cancer Centre, which is the first in Scotland to offer the treatment.

HDR-BT is used to treat aggressive but localised prostate cancer and allows a higher dose of radiation to be directly but safely targeted into the prostate gland. This minimises the radiation exposure to the surrounding tissue and reduces potential side effects.

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An HDR afterloader with which the treatment is conducted

Mr Sanderson, from Dumfries and Galloway, said: “I would strongly encourage anyone who is offered this treatment to go for it.

“It was a very smooth process and the care I received from the NHS was absolutely first class.

“I was looked after every step of the way and I knew that I was in the best possible hands for my treatment.”

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among Scottish men, with more than 3,000 diagnosed every year. It was in the spotlight yesterday following the news that popular Friends actor James Michael Tyler, who played Central Perk’s manager Gunther on the popular show, died from disease aged just 59.

But although the number of those being diagnosed with the cancer in Scotland is increasing, survival rates are too.

Dr Aravindhan Sundaramurthy, consultant clinical oncologist at the Edinburgh Cancer Centre, said: “We have been successfully delivering low-dose-rate brachytherapy (LDR-BT) for prostate cancer with over 1000 men throughout Scotland benefitting from the service.

“However, men with more advanced or aggressive disease would not be eligible for LDR-BT on its own.

“The start of the new HDR-BT service opens a very important therapeutic option for men with high-risk prostate cancer features. It brings together the skills and expertise of staff across our radiotherapy, oncology and anaesthetic teams to deliver another treatment option.”

The new treatment is being offered alongside existing radiotherapy treatments at the centre, expanding the range of treatment options on offer. It is a collaborative effort involving radiotherapy nursing, prostate clinical oncologists, anaesthetics, therapeutic radiographers and oncology physicists.

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