New technique to treat breast cancer

Peterborough City Hospital, Bretton. Photo: Peterborough Telegraph

Peterborough City Hospital, Bretton. Photo: Peterborough Telegraph

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Breast cancer patients at Peterborough City Hospital (PCH) will now benefit from a new pioneering technique after a successful research study was completed.

The HeartSpare study, which was led by the Royal Marsden Hospital, in Sutton and sponsored by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), looked at sparing the dose of radiotherapy to the heart for left-sided breast cancer patients.

The study was piloted in March 2014 and taught patients to hold their breath in a ‘deep inspiration breath hold’. By doing so the diaphragm moves down and moves the heart away from the chest wall, minimising any radiation dose to the heart.

The radiotherapy department at the Trust has now embedded the technique into routine clinical practice after seeing positive results in the trial and is one of the few centres across the country to have done so.

Andrew Poynter, Head of Radiotherapy Physics said: ‘This a relatively simple technique which will have direct benefit to breast cancer patients, reducing their risk of experiencing long term cardiovascular side effects from their radiotherapy treatment. It is also a great example of clinical trial research being translated into direct patient benefit.’

This a relatively simple technique which will have direct benefit to breast cancer patients, reducing their risk of experiencing long term cardiovascular side effects from their radiotherapy treatment.

Andrew Poynter, Head of Radiotherapy Physics