Charitable funding has enabled Addenbrooke’s hospital to be the first hospital in the world to purchase the commercial version of a groundbreaking new software for planning brachytherapy treatment, a type of radiotherapy used to treat cervical cancer.
The Oncentra GYN software is claimed to be the world’s first brachytherapy treatment planning system that advises and guides the user in the placement of the needle that delivers the radiotherapy treatment.
The new software will allow doctors at Addenbrooke’s to treat large tumours (greater than 5cm in size) that have spread outside the cervix.
Trials in Vienna have shown that the techniques supported by the new software can improve cure rates for patients with large cervical tumours by 20 per cent (to 90 per cent) while reducing debilitating side-effects by 10 per cent (to two per cent). The software should also speed up the process for planning the patient’s treatment.
Dr Li Tee Tan, consultant oncologist at Addenbrooke’s, is enthusiastic about the software. Nationally, only 25 per cent of oncology centres are offering this 3D ‘image-guided’ technique due to its complexity, and the new software should simplify the implementation of the technique further.
Tan said: ‘We are very grateful for the charitable funding that has enabled this revolutionary new technology to be implemented at Addenbrooke’s, not only from Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust funds but also from external bodies including Jo’s Trust, Huntingdon Audi and Peterborough Cancer Treatment Appeal, who have all recognised the life-changing benefits of this software for patients with cervical cancer and have very generously awarded funds to Addenbrooke’s towards its purchase.’