Cancer patient in world first for latest hi-tech treatment

A CANCER patient from Yorkshire has become the first in the world to undergo radiation treatment harnessing a new breakthrough in technology to target hard-to-reach cancers.

Staff at St James’s Hospital in Leeds carried out the treatment employing a new device to directly target lung cancer in tandem with another cutting-edge technique called stereotactic radiotherapy which they used for the first time earlier this year.

The latest approach provides more precise radiotherapy treatment in larger doses over a shorter period of time and is being extended to help patients with cancers which are difficult or impossible to treat using conventional surgery.

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Retired joiner and shopfitter Richard Berry, 72, of Eccleshill, Bradford, who only discovered he had cancer a month ago after collapsing suddenly at home, became the first to have the treatment.

He said: “I didn’t relish the prospect of surgery and this treatment has allowed me to carry on with life much as normal and I have felt fine throughout the process.”

Alan Needham, lead radiotherapy radiographer for research and development at St James’s, said the device enhanced the way radiotherapy treatment beams could be targeted to match the precise shape of a cancer.

He said this had the potential to significantly improve the quality of radiotherapy delivery.

“We are delighted to have been able to undertake the first treatment using the device to target early stage lung cancer and are continuing to develop its potential and expect to expand its use to include other cancers over the next year,” he said.