World first as Norfolk and Norwich offers new cancer treatment

Norfolk and Norwich Hospital April 2020 Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Norfolk and Norwich Hospital April 2020 Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN - Credit: Archant

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has become the first hospital in the world to offer an innovative new treatment for prostate cancer.

Known as high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy and external beam radiotherapy, the new technique was used for the first time in June this year and sees the hospital split its treatment for the cancer in two while providing a 'shield' for healthy cells.

The first stage will use a temporary radioactive implant, while the second is delivered as a powerful x-ray beam.

During treatment, healthy tissue can become inflamed, however, by inserting a hyaluronic acid rectal spacer, neighbouring tissues can be protected from damage.

Dr Jenny Nobes at the NNUH, said: “This is great news for our patients as it reduces the amount of tissue damage to the surrounding area, potentially reducing side effects and the amount of time spent in hospital.

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“The insertion of the implant immediately before an HDR procedure can not only reduce the number of appointments for a patient, but also enables the treatment team to plan in real time, which again is better for our patients."

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