Rutherford Cancer Centre announces new collaboration to help prostate cancer patients in the North East

Rutherford Cancer Centre announces new collaboration to help prostate cancer patients in the North East

The Rutherford Cancer Centre North East has announced a collaboration with Nuffield Health Newcastle Hospital to aid the treatment of prostate cancer radiotherapy patients.

A new oncology pathway for the North East introduced by the Rutherford Cancer Centre for its patients means that prostate cancer patients in the region can now have access locally to hydrogel spacers which reduce radiation exposure during radiotherapy treatment.

The pathway is designed to meet increasing demand for precision radiotherapy in the region. After undergoing the hydrogel spacer procedure, patients will typically commence their main treatment – radiotherapy or high energy proton beam therapy – at the Rutherford Cancer Centre in Bedlington.

The SpaceOAR Hydrogel is a soft gel that separates the rectum from the prostate, reducing radiation. The procedures to be carried out at Nuffield Health Newcastle Hospital will be performed by leading urology consultant Mr Toby Page. Describing the pathway, Mr Page commented: “The provision of spacer devices to help minimise the impact of precision therapies on unaffected areas of tissue is a huge leap forward in prostate cancer treatment. I am pleased to be a part of this collaboration with the Rutherford Cancer Centre as we work together to help transform cancer care across the North East.”

Chris Land, centre manager at the Rutherford Cancer Centre North East, said: “The North East has some of the highest incidence of cancer in the UK, and prostate cancer is the most common cancer of them all. We are delighted to bring this crucial oncology pathway to the North East which cements the region’s reputation as a fast-emerging hub of cutting-edge cancer care and precision radiotherapy. Our excellent relationship with Nuffield Newcastle has been key in delivering this and we are confident that it will enhance patient outcomes across the region.”

Matthew Lamb, hospital director at Nuffield Health Newcastle Hospital, said: “Being at the forefront of advancements in medical and surgical technologies is a key priority for us, which is why we are delighted to provide the rectal spacer procedure to prostate cancer patients in the region who need it. This is a vital development in cancer care and demonstrates our commitment to working with public and private bodies to ensure the best patient outcomes.”

Stephen McGill, Vice President and General Manager International for SpaceOAR Hydrogel, said: “With the support of our clinical data more than 50,000 men worldwide are now benefiting from the long-term positive impact of SpaceOAR. Our aim has always been to provide spacing to men throughout the UK. We are excited this collaboration is another step forward in helping to provide further access to prostate cancer patients throughout the North East.”

The Rutherford Cancer Centre North East is part of a network of cancer centres across the UK that offers high energy proton beam therapy and the only centre to do so in the region. The centre also offers conventional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy and radiotherapy. In August it announced a partnership with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust that enabled NHS patients to be treated at the centre with chemotherapy.