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18 August 2016

Over 100 prostate cancer patients treated in Bristol by novel new method

Radio-Isotope Team

The Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre (BHOC) has reached a milestone in its treatment of men with metastatic prostate cancer, celebrating over 100 patients having received Radium 223.

Radium 223, also known as Xofigo, is a novel treatment offered by the Isotope Unit to prostate cancer patients whose cancer has spread to the bones, despite standard hormone therapy treatment.

The radio-isotope is injected in to the patient and behaves like calcium in the body, getting absorbed by the bones. It then directly delivers radiation to the bones, providing pain relief and extending life expectancy.

Men receive six injections in total, one every four weeks, taking only a few minutes to administer and with minimal side effects.

The BHOC was one of the first centres to start offering this treatment regularly on the NHS, starting in February 2014 following a successful trial.

The team at the Isotope Unit has since helped 14 other centres across the country establish this service, with more training days planned to ensure good access to this treatment.

Highly skilled therapy radiographers run this service in partnership with four consultant oncologists. This method allows for patients to receive prompt care and a reduced number of hospital visits.

Dr Amit Bahl, the consultant oncologist who leads this treatment, said:

"This local service continues to move from strength to strength and we are thrilled to be at the point where we are treating our 100th patient, whereas other centres are still in the planning stages.

"The team find it incredibly motivating to be able to provide a novel treatment in this area of unmet need which has such great benefits for our patients.

"We look forward to being able to treat many more patients in the future."