Delivering world-class cancer treatment
By Professor Christopher Nutting, BSc MBBS MD PhD FRCP FRCR ECMO MedFIPEM
Consultant in Clinical Oncology,
Professor of Radiotherapy
Royal Marsden Hospital and Institute of Cancer Research
I was fascinated to travel to India a little over a week ago and see the great strides the country is making in its healthcare.
I was a keynote speaker at the Tata Memorial Centre’s XIIIth Annual Conference on Evidence-Based Management of Cancers in India.
The event, in Mumbai, brought together more than 300 leading cancer specialists from across India as well as a number of leading experts from around the world.
The theme was Modern Radiation Oncology and I was delighted to tell the delegates of the advances in radiotherapy I am helping to pioneer, particularly in adaptive radiotherapy which tracks the size of the tumour as it shrinks.
We are very proud at the Royal Marsden Hospital to be one of the first hospitals in the world that is going to have access to a revolutionary new cancer treatment which will pinpoint the movement of a tumour even as the patient breathes – a new level of precision never before experienced in radiotherapy and of particular benefit in treating head and neck cancers.
This smart technology will transform outcomes for patients, reducing the risk and severity of side-effects.
Of course the physics and medicine behind such breakthroughs are at the very cutting edge of science and there will be a period of research before the treatment becomes available but we are confident the advances are a significant step forward for patients.
Conferences such as the one in Mumbai are vital in helping to share best practice and keep up-to-date with the latest research going on around the world.
As Chairman of the London Cancer Alliance Radiotherapy Group, I have oversight of radiotherapy treatment at the four main cancer centres in the capital covering a population of 5.5 million people.
My work has also taken me to America, the Far East, Australia and leading centres in the Middle East such as the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Saudi Arabia.
I am pleased to say that London has maintained its position at the forefront of the latest advances in healthcare and, despite the challenges of the economic environment, our commitment to research and development is as always truly world-class.