This new technique is being used for cancer research in Liverpool - The Guide Liverpool

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This new technique is being used for cancer research in Liverpool


International Clinical Trials Day (May 20) celebrates innovations that improve medical care and a new technique is targeting hard to reach tumours at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre.

Interventional Radiology is enabling the injection of cancer treatments directly into the liver of patient Mike Chapman, who is taking part in a research trial.

Retired Chartered Engineer Mike is being given a hormone therapy designed to attack his liver cancer cells but leave normal ones intact, shrinking tumours and killing any other cancer cells in his body.

Mike Chapman and wife Jo

Using CT scans, which can see deep into a patient’s body, a needle is guided into exactly the right spot for the injections.

Mike, 69, of Penkridge, near Stafford, was successfully treated for a rare eye cancer in 2014 but in January last year doctors told him it had spread to his liver. He has joined a research trial – Replimune 2 – and is given the injections along with therapy to boost his immune system to fight disease. He is halfway through eight rounds of treatment at the new flagship Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in Liverpool.

Medical Oncology Registrar Dr Anna Olsson-Brown said:

“This technique can guide medication to exactly the right area of a tumour, it is minimally invasive so can reduce risk and it can target tumours which are deeper into a patient’s body.

“Interventional Radiology procedures are well established in medicine across the NHS and it is a step forward for the technique to now be used in vital cancer research.”

Mike with Jo and his Grandchildren on his 69th birthday

Mike, a grandfather of four, said the procedure is uncomfortable but local anaesthetic takes away much of the pain. “The side effects are different for everyone,” he said. “For me they are arduous but not debilitating and it is worth going through all that discomfort to be on a research trial, with prospects of improvement.

“The standard treatment for this cancer is not that effective so I was really pleased to be able to go on this treatment and be fully involved in this research.”

Dr Gillian Heap, Clatterbridge’s Director of Research and Innovation Operations, said:

“The new IR service is the result of fantastic collaboration across a number of teams and we are really pleased it has been used in this important research trial.

“This is just one of the innovative techniques and clinical research trials at Clatterbridge and International Clinical Trials Day is an opportunity for us to celebrate how this important research is driving forward cancer treatment and care.

“Our relocation to the new Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool, close to our academic and medical partners in the city’s Knowledge Quarter, gives us many more opportunities for collaboration that will ultimately improve cancer outcomes for all patients.”

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