New 3D scans can pinpoint tumours and map cancer more accurately
Two Welsh hospitals are trialling new imaging techniques to target head and neck cancers more effectively.
The £720,000 clinical trial, which is due to start later this year at Velindre Hospital in Cardiff and Singleton Hospital in Swansea, aims to improve the treatment and survival rates of individuals with head and neck cancers.
Head and neck cancers account for 7% of all cancers. There were 2,000 new cases in Wales between 2013 and 2015, a figure that has risen since 2001.
The trial, which is funded by Cancer Research Wales and the Moondance programme, combines radiotherapy techniques with advanced imaging, known as PET.
Patients are injected with radioactive sugar which is taken up by tumour cells. The sugar accumulates in the tumour as its cells divide, allowing doctors to map the tumour’s behaviour more accurately and target it with radiotherapy.
“Having supported survivors and family members of those who are victims of cancer misdiagnosis, we understand at Thompsons just how devastating it can be if individuals do not have an accurate diagnosis or fast access to treatment.”
Amy Griffiths clinical negligence solicitor
Doctors say the PET scans will provide an outline of a tumour, much like MRI and CT scans, and track the activity of it. It is hoped that the scans will also give insight to how the cancer responds to treatment.
According to Dr Mererid Evans, consultant oncologist at Cancer Research Wales, this is the first example of “dose-painting” in Wales.
Amy Griffiths, a clinical negligence solicitor at Thompsons’ Cardiff office, said: “It is very positive to hear PET scanning will be delivered in Wales. Better detection of cancer, and understanding of how cancerous cells are behaving, should help to improve the treatment and management of the disease.
“Having supported survivors and family members of those who are victims of cancer misdiagnosis, we understand at Thompsons just how devastating it can be if individuals do not have an accurate diagnosis or fast access to treatment.
“This medical trial is at very early stages and we must not jump to conclusions about it until there are tangible positive outcomes but the announcement is a positive step forward in cancer treatment, which may be transferable to other forms of tumour analysis in the future.”
Concerned about negligent medical treatment or diagnoses? Talk to us for advice and support today.
Our discreet and compassionate medical negligence solicitors are experienced in the full range of medical injury claims and will work with you to establish whether you have a medical negligence compensation claim.
If you, or a loved one, think you have suffered medical negligence, such as a birth injury (for example, a cerebral palsy diagnosis following a difficult birth), misdiagnosis (such as cancer misdiagnosis), or suffered negligence during an operation contact us for advice.
If the incident happened more than three years ago, you will usually not be able to make a claim for compensation. However, exceptions do apply – such as instances where you could not have reasonably known your symptoms were caused by clinical negligence, or cases involves adults who lack legal capacity or children – so contact us for advice.
For further information, visit our How to Make A Compensation Claim page.