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.