The London Clinic has become the first UK hospital to participate in a landmark international phase 3 clinical trial of a treatment called intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT) for glioblastoma multiforme, a brain cancer with a high mortality rate.
Dame Tessa Jowell, the Labour politician, died last May from this type of brain cancer.
Glioblastoma multiforme is among the cancers with the highest mortality rates because in most patients the cancer comes back after treatment.
The London Clinic is one of 12 international hospitals taking part in the INTRAGO 2 phase 3 clinical trial. The trial will look at the effect of IORT in killing microscopic cancer cells left behind after the brain tumour is removed.
The London Clinic has invested in the Zeiss INTRABEAM IORT equipment – a mobile X-ray therapy unit which is not widely available in the NHS or at other private hospitals.
Professor Keyoumars Ashkan and Ranj Bhangoo, both consultant neurosurgeons at the London Neurosurgery Partnership, and Dr Matt Williams, consultant oncologist, are leading The London Clinic’s participation in the trial and are asking consultant oncologists and neurologists to put patients forward.
“This approach has been demonstrated to be effective with breast and colorectal cancers and we are optimistic that this new technique can help many people with this aggressive form of brain cancer,” said Ashkan.
IORT is a technique where a high dose of radiation is given at the same time as the surgical treatment to remove the brain tumour. It aims to sterilise the surgical cavity from residual tumour cells.
Candidates must be aged between 18 and 80 and must not have had previous cranial radiotherapy.