New unit cuts treatment time for cervical cancer patients by 97%

The 'high dose rate' brachytherapy equipment will cut treatment time from 17 hours to 30 minutes.

New unit at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee cuts brachytherapy treatment time for cervical cancer patients by 97% NHS Tayside
The new treatment unit is available at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee.

Tayside Cancer Centre, based at Ninewells Hospital, will be providing a new brachytherapy service for cancer patients with the introduction of a state-of-the-art treatment unit.

Brachytherapy is a type of internal radiation therapy in which seeds, ribbons, or capsules that contain a radiation source are placed in your body, in or near a tumour.

It is a key component in the treatment of cervical and uterine cancer.

The “high dose rate” brachytherapy equipment will cut treatment time from 17 hours to 30 minutes.

NHS Tayside says this 97% decrease in time will allow more patients to benefit from the treatment in a day, as well as positively affect their mental health by reducing the amount of time they spend isolated in a brachytherapy suite.

Sankar Pillai, head of Radiotherapy Physics at NHS Tayside, said: “Having this new treatment unit and a shorter treatment time will also allow us to see more patients and give us the opportunity to expand the service in the future and develop new treatments for other types of cancer.

“Commissioning this new technology has been a multi-disciplinary team effort involving radiotherapy physicists, radiographers, nurses and oncologists. The team at Tayside Cancer Centre are proud to be able to offer this new service to our patients.”

The cancer centre delivers treatments for cancer to the population of Tayside and North Fife.

The centre sees over 2400 new patients per year, treating all adult cancer types and delivering high quality, compassionate and person-centred cancer care.