A radiotherapy team from Cork University Hospital travelled to The James Cook University Hospital to learn about its stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) programme.
The group, made up of a doctor, physicist, radiotherapists and dosimetrists, visited the team at James Cook Cancer Institute to gain first-hand experience of the leading-edge radiotherapy treatment before implementing it at their hospital.
SABR involves delivering multiple, high-dose, beams of radiation therapy to a very precise area within the body such as to the lungs, adrenal, lymph nodes and spine.
The degree of accuracy leads to minimising dose to the surrounding healthy tissue, reducing side effects and hopefully obliterating the tumour.
It can be used for the treatment of cancers instead of surgery and is delivered over several outpatient appointments.
James Cook was one of the first units in the UK to develop a SABR service and consequently now has one of the most advanced teams in the country as well as a reputation for being a leading centre in delivering cutting-edge radiotherapy.
Claire Huntley, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s radiotherapy clinical lead said: “It’s good to share good practice. Before we started our SABR service we did the same, we visited Germany to see it.
“Visiting another hospital already treating patients with SABR gives you the confidence and the practical information you need to set up your service.
“It’s nice to be able to share our learning from over the last 11 years with people who are starting from scratch because I know what it’s like. It’s a very bespoke service, it’s high dose, so it’s critical to get it right.”
“Our SABR team wanted to visit James Cook to see a fully established, world renowned SABR programme in action."Carol McGibney, clinical lead for lung SABR at Cork University Hospital
Carol McGibney, clinical lead for lung SABR at Cork University Hospital, said: “We would like to express our appreciation for the visit which was specifically tailored to our needs and for the expertise shared by all members of the SABR team at James Cook. It has exceeded our expectations.
“With the experience and insights gained, we are going home confident in implementing this service at Cork University Hospital.”