'Sat nav' cancer device at Merseyside centre

  • Published

A groundbreaking radiotherapy device which could transform the way some cancer patients are treated goes into service on Merseyside later.

The Novalis Tx machine will allow doctors to treat tumours almost anywhere in the body in one session.

It uses a system similar to a 'sat nav' to destroy cancerous cells but helps to protect surrounding healthy tissue.

About 800 patients are due to benefit from the machine at the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in its first year.

Dr Brian Haylock, consultant oncologist and clinical director for radiotherapy, said: "Unlike some other highly specialised radiation treatment machines, the Novalis Tx can treat many different types of cancer all over the body allowing us to treat more cancer patients with a single device.

"This coupled with the speed with which we can treat patients - in some cases in as little as 15 minutes in just one session - means the equipment will be available for the benefit of more patients here in the UK."

'Inspirational stuff'

The machines will also go into service at two other centres in Manchester and Edinburgh.

Almost 300,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in the UK every year.

Recent estimates show that of those, almost 50,000 people develop either primary or secondary brain tumours.

Sue Farrington-Smith, director of Brain Tumour Research, said: "We are delighted that advanced brain tumour treatments like the Novalis Tx are now available to cancer patients on the NHS.

"The work of Clatterbridge and The Walton Centre Trusts in Liverpool will undoubtedly provide the best cancer care for their patients. This is inspirational stuff."

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