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07 August 2017

BHOC patient rings in the end of his treatment

Malcom Stickler is one of the first patients to ring the celebration bell at Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre's radiotherapy department, sounding in the end of his treatment.


Malcom volunteered to take part in a research feasibility study at the hospital, which is looking at whether a new radiotherapy technique could be safely used to treat prostate cancer patients at the hospital.

Prostate tumours often appear as 'islands' of malignant tissue within the prostate, with each area containing a larger number of cancer cells. Giving these areas a higher 'boost' dose of radiotherapy may prevent recurrence without harming healthy tissue. This technique is called dose painting.

Steve Blake, head of radiotherapy physics at the Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre and study lead said:

"Suitable patients who were due to have radiotherapy and who volunteered for the study were scanned on the CRICBristol 3T MRI scanner.

"These scans were then reviewed to identify areas that would be suitable for dose painting within the prostate, and plans were produced to show how this could be done.

"These plans were then assessed to ensure that the treatment could be delivered safely in the future, without harming any healthy tissue.

"At the moment this is a feasibility only study.  A national trial is now being prepared and the Bristol study will help us get involved."

"The Bristol Dose Painting Study was funded by Above & Beyond."

The celebration bell was donated from a patient, in memory of their late father. It is mounted on the wall near the way out of the department for patients to ring when they have completed their last treatment.

Petra Jacobs, deputy radiotherapy services manager, said:

"The patients and staff in the waiting room have been clapping when the bell is rung and some patients have made mini speeches of encouragement and wishing the other patients well."

"A lot of people have already appreciated this special gift and it brings an extra positive feeling to the end of their treatments."

Malcom Stickler said:

"I'd like to thank everybody, both at Weston and those in the oncology department in Bristol for the service and everything done for me since January.

"It's been excellent treatment right the way through and I couldn't fault it at all."