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03 July 2019
Cancer care
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The London Clinic is the first and only 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.

Mr Bhangoo and Professor Ashkan (photo credit: Christopher L. Proctor)

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 international phase 3 clinical trial will look at the results of how IORT can help when after the brain tumour is removed, a high, focused dose of radiation is delivered directly to the tumour cavity to kill any microscopic cancer cells left behind.

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 Mr 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 clinical trial and are asking consultant oncologists and neurologists to put patients forward for the clinical trial. 

“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. Intra-operative radiotherapy (IORT) is an innovative technique when a high dose of radiation is given at the same time as the surgical treatment to remove the brain tumour.

"In this way, the intra-operative radiation can essentially help sterilize the surgical cavity from residual tumour cells. In a way it helps to bridge the treatment gap between surgery and post-operative radiation,” says Professor Ashkan. 

“The INTRAGO 2 Phase 3 clinical trial allows the localised IORT 20-30Gy boost to be given in addition to standard care radiotherapy. The clinical trial is open to new patients with radiologically suspected glioblastoma or those with a previous biopsy or partial resection so long as further surgery to remove the tumour is clinically indicated and there has not been previous treatment with radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

"We therefore want consultant oncologists and neurologists to identify people who may be suitable candidates for this clinical trial and refer them early on.” says Mr Ranj Bhangoo. 

"The London Clinic is proud to be representing the UK in this international clinical trial. We already support our patients, consultants and clinical teams with a comprehensive neurological service. That includes high-spec linear accelerators for radiotherapy, stereotactic radiotherapy with CyberKnife, a state-of-the-art intensive care unit and a comprehensive rehabilitation and aftercare programme.

"Participation in this trial reflects our approach to research and innovation. It will offer some of our patients an additional, new treatment option.” says Mr Satya Bhattacharya, Medical Director of The London Clinic

Further information

Candidates must be aged 18 or older and younger than 80 and must not have had previous cranial radiotherapy. Clinicians who wish to put people forward for the clinical trial can contact +44(0)203 219 3315 or enquiries@thelondonclinic.co.uk

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