July 2013

The news stories within this section are provided for information only. The facts and views contained in each story are provided by the named news outlets. They do not represent the views of, nor are they endorsed by, Action Radiotherapy.


30 July

IMSRT effectively spares neural stem cell niches
The use of intensity modulated stereotactic radiotherapy (IMSRT) to spare neural stem cell niches is found feasible in a recent study. Radiation exposure to the hippocampus and the subventricular zone during radiation therapy in some cases leads to neurocognitive decline. Researchers investigated the potential of sparing both structures by using optimized IMSRT.
Applied Radiation Oncology

Seizure control following radiotherapy in patients with diffuse gliomas: a retrospective study
This study showed that a high proportion of patients with medically intractable epilepsy from diffuse gliomas derive a significant and durable benefit from radiotherapy in terms of epilepsy control and that this positive effect is not strictly associated with tumor shrinkage as shown on MRI.

Abstract: Role of radiotherapy in adrenocortical carcinoma
This report is one of the largest to date examining the role of modern radiation techniques in the management of Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC). The researchers conclude that radiation can be effective in the management of metastatic ACC, palliating local symptoms, and preventing complications from large metastases. Radiation should be considered as an option in multimodality management of ACC patients.
URO Today (free registration required)

MP welcomes news that Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust benefitted from Radiotherapy Innovation Fund
David Davis MP has welcomed news that Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust benefitted from £715,900 from the Radiotherapy Innovation Fund to improve radiotherapy at Castle Hill Hospital. The fund helped centres across the country to meet the national standards for Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT).
Driffield Times


29 July

Oxygen Can Help Thwart Cancer
A multidisciplinary team at The Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Center has found that measuring the oxygenation of tumors can be a valuable tool in guiding radiation therapy, opening the door for personalized therapies that keep tumors in check with oxygen enhancement.
Laboratory Equipment

Funding boost for cancer treatment at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital
A hospital has received a boost to treat more cancer patients locally following new funding to buy more radiotherapy equipment. The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has received more than £300,000 from the Radiotherapy Innovation Fund, which officials say will help hundreds more cancer patients every year.
Norwich Evening News


19 July

Safer Radium Therapy Provides Hope for Metastatic Prostate Cancer Patients
A study of a new radiotherapeutic drug published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine brings fresh hope for a particular group of cancer patients that otherwise suffer and ultimately die from the disease — those with prostate cancer that has spread to their bones and has failed to be controlled by hormone deprivation drugs. Radium-223, a radiotherapeutic drug sold under the brand name Xofigo, is the first apha particle emitter to undergo phase 3 testing and, in May, to receive FDA approval for use in the United States.
Health Canal

Moderate dose radiotherapy effective in EORTC trial for patients with desmoid-type fibromatosis
A phase 2 EORTC trial for patients with inoperable desmoid-type fibromatosis has shown that moderate dose radiotherapy is an effective treatment for patients with such a rare type of tumor. The study results published in Annals of Oncology show that response after radiation therapy is slow, and that continuing regression is seen even after three years.

Trimodality therapy offers benefit in muscle-invasive bladder cancer
The addition of paclitaxel or fluorouracil to cisplatin in combination with radiotherapy resulted in disease control and preservation of the bladder in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer, according to results of a multicenter phase 2 study. However, the ability to complete four cycles of systemic adjuvant chemotherapy proved difficult for many patients, researchers wrote.
HemOnc Today


18 July

Lifeline for reality TV star who was denied life-saving cancer treatment
The case of a young cancer patient denied life-saving treatment will be urgently looked at, a Tory minister promised last night. Health minister Anna Soubry intervened after the Mirror told how Nadejah Williams – face of the Teenage Cancer Trust – was twice turned down for a CyberKnife procedure.
The Mirror

Brachytherapy: Can high dose rate replace low dose rate and external beam radiotherapy?
Abstract looking at data for brachytherapy to treat prostate cancer.
URO Today (free registration required)

Plans progress for Monklands radiotherapy centre
A decision will be made next month on the creation of a new radiotherapy facility at Monklands Hospital to serve the west of Scotland.
Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser


17 July

Long-term ADT, high-dose radiation improved outcomes in high-risk prostate cancer
A treatment regimen that consisted of androgen deprivation therapy for 2 or more years plus radiation doses of at least 75.6 Gy significantly improved outcomes in men with high-risk prostate cancer, according to results of a retrospective analysis.
HemOnc Today

Cancer patients who receive chest radiation should be screened for heart disease every 5-10 years
Cancer patients who receive chest radiation should be screened for heart disease every 5-10 years, according to the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging (EACVI) of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE). Their recommendations are outlined in the first expert consensus statement on screening for radiation-induced heart disease (RIHD), published today in European Heart Journal – Cardiovascular Imaging.
News Medical

A comparison of dosimetric parameters between tomotherapy and three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy in rectal cancer
The purpose of this study, published in Radiation Oncology, was to compare the dosimetric parameters between Tomotherapy and three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT) in rectal cancer patients.
7th Space

Cancer expert to teach new therapy in UK
A cancer specialist from Southampton is to become one of only a few in the country to use a revolutionary radiotherapy treatment. Dr Shanmugasundarum Ramkumar, a consultant clinical oncologist at Southampton General Hospital, has been chosen to fly out to America to learn how to use the groundbreaking proton beam therapy.
Southern Daily Echo


16 July

Reality TV star denied life-saving cancer treatment due to “appalling” new rules
23-year-old Nadejah Williams – who appeared on Channel 4’s Shipwrecked programme in 2009 – suffers from a rare form of colon cancer. Her dogged fight for life has been dealt a crushing blow after NHS changes cruelly denied her life-saving treatment. Nadejah has been refused a pioneering CyberKnife procedure because of the Government’s new cancer care rules.
Daily Mirror

Abstract: Radiotherapy after testicular-sparing surgery for bilateral or monorchide testicular tumours: An innovative approach
Testicular-sparing surgery may avoid definitive testosterone supplementation and preserve fertility in selected cases of men presenting with bilateral testicular tumours or in case of monorchidia. The tumorectomy must be followed by an external irradiation of the remaining testicle to eradicate testicular intratubular neoplasia revealed in 82% of cases after per-surgery biopsy.
URO Today (free registration required)

Shropshire radiotherapy department wins national recognition
The Radiotherapy Department at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust has been named the fifth-best in the whole of England for its delivery of a specific treatment. A report from The Radiotherapy Innovation Fund has highlighted the Trust’s performance in delivering Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) for radically treated patients.
Shropshire Live


15 July

Gammapod targets early-stage breast cancer
An experimental innovation in cancer treatment from the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine could provide a new, high-precision, noninvasive method of treating early-stage breast cancer.
Medical Xpress

Software innovators embark on collaborative radiotherapy efforts
RaySearch Laboratories and Brainlab have agreed to collaborate in the field of treatment planning for radiation therapy and dose optimization with the goal to automate crucial steps in the treatment process.
The Swedish Wire

New cancer unit plans submitted
Construction of a new £21.5m cancer facility serving Forth Valley could start next year. Outline plans for the new-build unit – which will operate as a satellite facility of the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow – have been submitted to the Scottish Government. It’s earmarked for Monklands Hospital, North Lanarkshire, and is expected to provide radiotherapy treatment for about 120 patients each day drawn from West of Scotland health board areas, including Forth Valley.
Stirling Observer

Thousands of patients benefit from Radiotherapy Innovation Fund
The SCoR, along with Cancer Research UK, the Royal College of Radiologists and the Institure of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, is calling for a long-term commitment from the government to fulfil the Prime Minister’s ambition that all cancer patients will have access to the most effective radiotherapy for their cancer. Charlotte Beardmore, Professional and Education Manager at the SCoR, commented: “The SCoR has been closely involved in developing this fund and its successful delivery. It’s thanks to the hard work and commitment of our members that so many more patients are benefiting from advanced radiotherapy. “But it must not stop here. More work and funding is required to ensure more patients are able to benefit.
Society of Radiographers


12 July

Measles virus improves radiotherapy treatment
An innovative new combination treatment that uses the measles virus to target cancer cells could significantly improve treatment for bowel and head & neck cancer, new research suggests. Scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, found that the quadruple treatment was able to deliver more radiation to cancer cells than radiotherapy alone while limiting the radiation dose to normal tissue.
Institute of Cancer Research

IMRT plus chemotherapy offers high locoregional control in advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma
Treatment with intensity-modulated radiotherapy and concurrent weekly chemotherapy improved xerostomia and dysphagia in patients with advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma, according to study results presented at the WIN Symposium.
HemOnc Today

Dose escalation with stereotactic body radiation therapy boost for locally advanced non small cell lung cancer
Low survival outcomes have been reported for the treatment of locally advanced non small cell lung cancer (LA-NSCLC) with the standard of care treatment of concurrent chemoradiation (cCRT). This study, published in Radiation Oncology, explored dose escalation using stereotactic body radiosurgery following conventional cCRT for patients with LA-NSCLC.
7th Space

IPEM supports Radiotherapy Innovation Fund
The £23million fund to support increased availability of Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy Treatment across the country has received enthusiastic support from IPEM members. IPEM President Dr Peter Jarritt said: “The provision of the £23m Radiotherapy Innovation Fund has delivered universal access to the infrastructure required to deliver a doubling of the number of intensity modulated radiotherapy treatments (IMRT) in a 6 month period from its launch.”

The future of proton therapy
Interview with Dr James M. Slater who helped launch the first hospital-based proton therapy center in the United States, at Loma Linda University in southern California.


11 July

Fund gives around 5,800 more cancer patients access to advanced radiotherapy treatment every year
Around 5,800 more cancer patients a year will now benefit from new, state-of-the-art forms of radiotherapy thanks to the Radiotherapy Innovation Fund, but a long-term commitment from the government is vital for further improvements. In just six months, the Government’s £23 million fund – allocated by Cancer Research UK and the Department of Health with support from radiotherapy professional bodies – has vastly increased the number of patients having access to Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT), a more advanced form of the treatment.
Cancer Research UK

Parents say Sam is reacting well to tumour therapy
The parents of Sam John, who has an inoperable brain tumour, say he’s reacting well to treatment to stop it growing. Steve and Victoria John, of Fareham, are in America, with their 16-year-old son Sam. So far the Neville Lovett school pupil has had three treatments of proton beam therapy and will be in the USA for another seven weeks.
Portsmouth News


10 July

Health bosses move to explain unused new equipment at cancer centre
Health bosses have offered an explanation as to why a potentially life-saving £500,000 piece of radiotherapy kit has been sitting unused for a year.
Epping Forest Guardian

Hypofractionation emerges as standard, but not yet for every patient
Recently published clinical trial results support new radiation therapy protocols for many breast cancer survivors ⎯ protocols that could greatly improve collective outcomes despite working little better than existing standards of care, according to Tim Whelan.

Online tool helps decide adjuvant treatment for OCSCC
A web-based nomogram can help decide which patients with oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma will benefit from adjuvant radiotherapy, according to a study in JAMA Otolaryngology.
Dr Bicuspid


8 July

Michael Parkinson: I have cancer but I’m not afraid
Michael Parkinson was last night inundated with messages of support after the chat show star revealed he was battling prostate cancer. The 78-year-old TV legend told how he is winning the fight as he was diagnosed early and vowed to carry on working despite recently starting radiotherapy.
The Mirror

Newsreader developed breast cancer after radiotherapy 20 years earlier
A Channel Four newsreader had to have a double mastectomy after the radiotherapy she had to treat her cancer as a teenager gave her breast cancer more than 20 years later. And because of the amount of radiotherapy she had previously received, having the lump from her breast removed and radiotherapy wasn’t an option for Bridgid Nzekwu.
Daily Telegraph

Historical Breast Cancer Radiotherapy Injuries How has the Breast Radiation Injury Rehabilitation Service helped pre-1990 patients? This feature on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour explores the issue.
BBC iPlayer Radio


5 July

Cancer blaster pits NHS against private investors
The U.K.’s state-run health system, often criticized for not funding innovative treatments, wants to build the country’s first football-field-sized proton-beam cancer therapy centers. Private investors may beat the government to it. The U.K. is behind other nations in Europe in offering the therapy and now sends about 100 patients a year who qualify for it to the U.S.
Bloomberg Business Week

Surgeon at Epping Breast Unit speaks of frustration as £500,000 cancer treatment machine lies unused
A surgeon at a pioneering breast cancer unit has expressed frustration that a machine which delivers potentially life-saving treatment has been unused since it was delivered a year ago because of red tape. The £500,000 equipment at the Epping Breast Unit can deliver radiotherapy to patients during an operation and help prevent tumours returning after surgery. But it has not been used because the area’s clinical commissioning group, which has replaced the strategic primary care trust, is yet to decide what funding the unit will receive for using the equipment.
Epping Forest Guardian

New radiotherapy machine cuts treatment time for Southend patients
Southend Hospital is leading the way with pioneering intense radiotherapy to cut treatment times for certain cancers. High dose radiation uses a miniature, highly active radiation source to precisely target the affected area of people suffering with skin, gynaecological, breast, oesophageal, and medium-risk prostate cancers. Soon, staff at the brachytherapy suite will be able to treat some rectal cancers too.

Mum’s heartfelt thanks to readers who funded breakthrough cancer treatment
A determined East Dorset mum has raised £30,000 for a breakthrough cancer treatment that could prolong her life. Kathy Craven, who lives near Wimborne and has been fighting breast cancer for five years, was refused treatment following a recent NHS funding clampdown.  The treatment – Selective Internal Radiation-Spheres, known as SIRT – was removed from the Cancer Drugs Fund list of treatments in April.
Bournemouth Echo

Plans to build new £450m Birmingham Children’s Hospital
A new £450 million Birmingham Children’s Hospital could be built on the same site as Queen Elizabeth Hospital in ten years’ time. An agreement has been signed off by the chief executives of the two hospitals, as well as Birmingham Women’s Hospital, to create a new health campus. Currently babies born at the Women’s who need surgery have to be transferred to the Children’s Hospital, based in the city centre, whilst sick youngsters needing radiotherapy have to be taken to the QE in Edgbaston.
Birmingham Mail


4 July

Abstract: Risk of mesothelioma following external beam radiotherapy for prostate cancer: A cohort analysis of SEER database
A study to investigate the association between external beam radiotherapy for prostate cancer and mesothelioma concludes that EBRT for prostate cancer carries a small but detectable risk factor for mesothelioma.
URO Today (free registration required)

Fundraising team hoping to raise £5million
The fundraising campaign to help create a cancer treatment centre is picking up pace – with more than £40,000 raised so far. Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is hoping to open the north Hampshire centre by early 2016. It will provide radiotherapy for cancer patients, who currently have to travel to Southampton or Guildford for the treatment, closer to home.
This is Hampshire


3 July

Comprehensive evaluation of proton plans
Accounting for systematic and random setup errors as well as range uncertainties is vital when evaluating proton treatment plans. A new study published in the Red Journal, which takes a statistical approach to this issue, has shown that while target coverage for most of the patients involved was acceptable even when uncertainties were taken into account, the dose received by organs-at-risk varied significantly.

Bristol radiotherapy bunker work begins in £16m revamp
The construction of two radiotherapy bunkers at a cancer centre in Bristol has begun. The bunkers will replace two small, existing bunkers and house two new state-of-the-art linear accelerator (linac) machines, which deliver advanced radiotherapy treatments to adult cancer patients.


2 July

Study shows SBRT for stage I NSCLC safe and effective
Stereotactic body radiotherapy is considered the treatment of choice for early-stage non–small-cell lung cancer if patients are inoperable because of additional medical conditions.
Science Codex

Coughing for three weeks? You need a cancer check
Patients with a cough lasting more than three weeks will be urged to see their  doctor under a lung cancer campaign being launched today. Fewer than one in seven of the 38,000 new cases every year are diagnosed early enough for effective treatment by surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
Daily Mail

Shanay back home after US Proton Therapy
A 12-year-old girl is back home in the Black Country after spending two months in America undergoing gruelling treatment for a brain tumour. Shanay, of Penn, had undergone eight operations on the growth – but it returned. Doctors were not willing to operate again so the NHS paid for her to receive special proton therapy in the US.
Express & Star


1 July

Prime Minister David Cameron fails to keep cancer promise
David Cameron’s pledge to roll out innovative radiotherapy treatment for all cancer patients who need it has been broken, leaving hundreds receiving sub-standard care. At last year’s Tory conference the Prime Minister promised a £15million fund to ensure patients would have access to better treatment by April. Now Health Minister Anna Soubry has admitted the deadline has not been met.
Sunday Express

Sensor Technology for Radiotherapy
Monitoring Dr. Sinéad O’Keeffe, Research Fellow, Optical Fibre Sensors Research Centre, University of Limerick, talks to AZoSensors about Sensor Technology for Radiotherapy Monitoring.
A to Z of Sensors

Brave Alex set to fly back to Aylesbury
Alex Novakovic is heading home from Boston after six weeks of receiving cancer therapy. The Bedgrove Infant pupil, who the public helped send to Massachusetts General Hospital for cancer treatment on a brain tumour by raising more than £255,000 in a week, will come home on Sunday. The seven-year-old has responded well to proton therapy but will need to return to America for further tests in a few weeks.
The Bucks Herald