Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Hydro Active Women’s Challenge

On September 16th several supporters of The Cancer Thermal Ablation Fund will be gathering in London’s Hyde Park to participate in this 5 Km run/jog/walk to raise the vital funds needed to provide training for doctors in this important fourth dimension in the fight against cancer.

Leading expert in this specialist procedure, Dr Alice Gillams will be joining Founder Jean Ratcliff and the rest of the team which includes celebrities Wendy Richard and Lorraine Chase subject to their professional engagements. Many of the nurses from the scanning unit are also taking part.

If you would like to sponsor the team or take part then please contact Jean Ratcliff on

Friday, June 08, 2007

First Doctor awarded The Ratcliff Interventional Oncology Fellowship

Dr Simon Smith MRCP (UK) FRCR was awarded the first Ratcliff Interventional Oncology Fellowship and commenced training at UCH in February. Dr Smith is Consultant Radiologist at The Ipswich Hospital. Dr Smith writes:

Last week I completed my three month attachment at University College London under the tuition of Dr Alice Gillams and Prof W Lees. Not even the vagaries of the railway system and frustration of the daily commute from my home in the wilds of East Anglia could detract from the value of this experience.

Being the first recipient of the Ratcliff interventional Oncology Fellowship, my intention was to see and perhaps do some radiofrequency ablation cases. In the end, largely because of the high patient throughput at this specialist unit, I was able to treat over forty tumours in a variety of locations, all of course done under the watchful eye of my mentors. However, the attachment was not simply about performing the technique. Much of the skill in running such a service comes in the selection of patients and in their subsequent follow up. I therefore attended weekly multidisciplinary meetings and follow up clinics and took part in the review of patients who had been referred in to UCL for an expert opinion.

I have been a consultant radiologist for seven years and with the day-to-day demands of working in the National Health Service it is easy to let important developments such as RFA pass you by. The Ratliff Fellowship, together with the support of my colleagues back home in Ipswich, has allowed me develop a new skill which I’m sure will be of great benefit to our local patients who until now had to travel a considerable distance for ablation treatments.

All in all the three months has proved to be of immeasurable value and has left me well prepared to establish my own service back in Ipswich. Indeed given the intricacies of the procedure, I wonder how it is possible to establish an RF service without such an attachment.