Specialist cancer care provider GenesisCare is collaborating with the University of Oxford to pioneer a new radiotherapy for NHS patients with localised pancreatic cancer.
The GenesisCare Foundation’s Compassionate Access Programme is offering eligible patients stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) using the UK’s first MRIdian machine at GenesisCare’s centre in Oxford. Patients with medically inoperable, borderline operable, locally advanced and locally recurrent pancreatic cancer will be able to access the treatment, which uses MRI to provide live, detailed images of the tumour and surrounding tissue, giving clinicians greater clarity and confidence when treating patients.
Dr James Good, clinical oncologist and clinical director of SABR at GenesisCare said: ‘The MRIdian machine is at the cutting-edge of what is possible in radiotherapy technology. The ability to visualise the tumour more accurately, to follow it while it’s being treated and to adapt the plan every day means we can deliver the best possible outcomes.
‘Patients with localised pancreatic cancer have variable access to precision radiotherapy, and during the Covid-19 pandemic have been further disadvantaged by the reduced availability and safety of surgery and chemotherapy.’
The Compassionate Access Programme is mutually beneficial for patients and providers of cancer care, providing new treatments for patients whilst generating patient outcome data that will help embed technology into UK oncology practice. Whilst SABR is available for a number of different cancers, it is not currently available on the NHS for pancreatic cancer. The data generated by patients participating in the programme will act as a pilot phase for University of Oxford clinical trials investigating further refinements of the approach.
Professor of clinical oncology at Oxford University Tim Maughan said: ‘The benefit of this treatment is clear, in that oncologists can see exactly what the tumour and surrounding tissue is doing during treatment, meaning they can adapt and change accordingly.
‘We’re very excited to be offering access to patients across the country. The outcomes of these patients will be carefully monitored so we can build the evidence for this cutting-edge treatment to demonstrate its merit to oncologists across the UK, and lead radiotherapy in the right direction.’
GenesisCare will release a paper detailing the full and open experience of the first 50 patients to be treated with the technology later this year.