Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Ratcliff Interventional Oncology Fellowships

The Ratcliff Interventional Oncology Fellowship was first conceived in 2005/6 and following a period of active fundraising the first fellows were appointed towards the end of 2006.

Our very first fellow, Dr Simon Smith, is an established consultant at Ipswich General Hospital. Dr Smith had already acquired some funding and some equipment and the local oncology community were keen to have an ablation service. The aim of the fellowship was to provide the necessary knowledge and experience such that he could establish his own Ablation Service in Ipswich. As an established practitioner Dr Smith already had excellent needle placement skills but needed to learn about ablation. Over a period of 3 months he performed over 40 treatments. He has now returned to Ipswich and is in the process of establishing a local ablation service.

The second Ratcliff Interventional Oncology fellow, Dr Mark Anderson, is a research registrar from Oxford. Dr Andersons’ main area of interest lies in colorectal cancer. Over a period of three months he learnt the “ins and outs” of ablation in the liver, lung and kidney, again performing several supervised procedures. Dr Anderson also carried out an analysis of the changing CT appearances that occur during lung ablation and showed that CT is excellent in predicting ablation efficacy. It is planned to present this work at scientific meetings and, in due course, it will be published. Dr Anderson now returns to Oxford where it is hoped to establish a regular weekly ablation treatment session.

Our current fellow is Dr Jeremy Taylor, a final year trainee from St George's Hospital. Dr Taylor has a long established interest in interventional oncology with a particular interest in liver tumours and liver ablation. He will spend three months at UCH learning the necessary skills to perform tumour ablation.

Looking forward to 2008, the adverts for the Ratcliff Interventional Oncology Fellowships have just been distributed. We have already received expressions of interest.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

RFA Team Raise over £12,500

The RFA team, 11 in number, headed by Founder Jean Ratcliff and Dr Alice Gillams have raised over £12,500 as a result of the generous support of many friends and colleagues of their team's efforts in the recent 5 kms event in Hyde Park on Sunday September 16th in which over 20,000 women took part. Jean's daughter Carrie walked in 5 inch high wedges accompanied by nurses from the Harley Street Clinic and also the hugely supportive actress Lorraine Chase.
It was a fun day. The sun shone but the glow for us was to know that we had such support and had raised a significant sum for our work in bringing greater awareness and availability of the vital procedure of radiofrequency ablation.
We thank all our generous sponsors especially on behalf of those who will ultimately benefit.

Variety Club of Great Britain

The famous children's charity, The Variety Club of Great Britain, has generously donated £3000 in support of our work with The Teenage Cancer Trust based at UCH. The doctors who are awarded the Ratcliff Interventional Oncology Fellowship train at UCH under the guidance of Professor Bill Lees and Dr. Alice Gillams, world leaders in radiofrequency ablation. A huge thank you to all the Variety Club dedicated fundraisers who work tirelessly to help and support young people with special needs.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Middlesex Lung RFA Course

On Thursday, July 5th 2007, a one day course on “lung RFA” was held at the new University College Hospital in London. The course is officially named after The Middlesex Hospital where much of the pioneering work in tumour ablation was performed in the years before The Middlesex moved to UCH in 2005.

The one day symposium included lectures on the principles behind RFA, the technical details, how to assess a patients’ suitability, how to perform the procedure, and how to assess the efficacy of treatment. A sample treatment was carried out by Prof Lees and transmitted by live video feed to the adjacent conference room so that participants could experience for themselves how a typical lung ablation is performed.

In addition there were lecture sessions covering the main tumour types that are treated with RFA. Speakers included world leaders from surgery, oncology, radiotherapy and chest medicine each contributing the relevant knowledge from their own discipline. Interventional oncology lectures were provided by Dr Gillams from UCH and Dr Warner Prevoo from the Netherlands.

The course attracted practitioners and potential practitioners from across the UK, Europe and as far a field as the USA.

Building on the success of this one day symposium, we intend to hold further courses on liver and lung RFA in 2008/9.