Jonah (Urology Nurse Award)
Earlier this year at the annual British Journal of Nursing (BJN) Awards, Jonah Rusere, Prostate Clinical Nurse Specialist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, and Advanced Nurse Practitioner for South East London Accountable Cancer Network, won the ‘Urology Nurse of the Year’ award.
The Urology Nurse of the Year Award, supported by the British Association of Urological Nurses (BAUN), is for nurses who have achieved excellence or shown a flair for innovation to improve patient care in urology.
The BJN Awards recognised Jonah for “almost single-handedly transforming prostate biopsy practice across the UK by rolling out an initiative to introduce a biopsy process using local rather than a general anaesthetic, providing a much safer and more effective diagnostic procedure”.
After receiving the award, Jonah said: “It is a privilege to receive the award. I want to thank the team at Guy’s Hospital and those at the South East London Accountable Cancer Network for acknowledging the work we’ve done over the last three years with LATP biopsies. I’m grateful and thankful for the BJN community to honour me with Urology Nurse of the Year.”
Jonah, as well as Rick Popert, Consultant Urologist, Guy’s and St Thomas’, have continued to drive the TRexit initiative forward, helping hospitals to phase out TRUS biopsies and replace them with transperineal biopsies under local anaesthetic (LA TP). This transition is supported through devices such as the PrecisionPoint™ transperineal access system that facilitate local anaesthetic TP biopsy through a freehand approach. Now, over 80% of TP biopsies at Guy’s are performed solely under local anaesthetic, with over half performed in the outpatient setting. MSAC Campaign: The Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) is an independent non-statutory committee established by the Australian Government Minister for Health in 1998. The MSAC appraises new medical services proposed for public funding and provides advice to Government on whether a new medical service should be publicly funded, using the best available evidence.
However, the committee has twice rejected the application to extend the LDR brachytherapy indication to include LDR boost with ERBT for higher-risk prostate cancer, despite evidence proving that LDR-Boost has the equivalent safety and efficacy data to treatments currently listed on medicare. In turn, this, therefore, means that Australian men are being denied access to a treatment that is standard of care elsewhere in the world, unless they are able to self-fund the full cost of treatment. BXTA, VIVA! Communications and Insight Strategy are working in collaboration on a public and government relations campaign to lobby the Australian Health Minister to request MSAC to reconsider their original application. Nicola Leavold,
New Mission Statement And Vision
BXTA has extended its global presence to support healthcare professionals improve outcomes and quality of life for prostate cancer patients. Since its foundation in 2012, BXTA has, in partnership with prostate cancer treatment centres and specialists, developed innovative solutions for the treatment of prostate cancer, including 4D low-dose-rate brachytherapy (4D LDR-B) as well as championed a pioneering new technique for prostate cancer biopsy, the PrecisionPoint™ Transperineal Access System from Perineologic.
PrecisionPoint™ is the biopsy technique behind the TRexit initiative, which aims to eradicate transrectal (TRUS) biopsies from the prostate cancer pathway in the NHS by the end of 2021, in favour of the local anaesthetic transperineal (LA TP) biopsy. This is a move that is also endorsed by the European Urology Association in their 2021 guidelines.
Since gaining its CE Mark in 2018, almost 87% of hospitals across the UK that are performing TP biopsies today are using PrecisionPoint™ (HES data 2020/21).
Between 2020/21, 30,116 biopsies took place (compared to 58,986 in 2019/20 as a result of COVID-19), with 66% of these being carried out via the transperineal route. Compared to data from 2018/2019, over 66% of prostate biopsies were transrectal, demonstrating the impact of TRexit and the change in attitude that has taken place.
This has been supported by a national training programme, developed and delivered by BXTA in collaboration with Mr Rick Popert, Guy’s & St. Thomas’ NHS Trust, aimed at increasing the number of nurses skilled in undertaking LA TP biopsies. This has provided opportunities for Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) to add value to the prostate cancer pathway. Discussing his prostate cancer experience, Russell applauds the process from diagnosis to the operation:
The evidence base for PrecisionPoint™ is underpinned by a significant number of clinical papers, which include data on clinical outcomes such as reduced sepsis rates and improved cancer detection; as well as operational and financial data to support the move from TRUS to LA TP with PrecisionPoint, over alternative methods for LA TP.
Saheed Rashid, Managing Director, BXTA, comments: “We are immensely proud of the success of the TRexit initiative to date in the UK and aim to replicate that elsewhere in the world to offer patients better, safer biopsies, as well as continue to advocate the benefits of low-dose-rate brachytherapy as an alternative to more invasive treatment options for prostate. cancer.”
Purpose: We exist to help eradicate cancer. Supporting healthcare professionals to beat cancer, extend life, and create better quality outcomes.
Vision: BXTA provides the most innovative solutions in cancer diagnosis and treatment to support healthcare professionals worldwide to beat cancer, extend life, and create better quality outcomes for patients.
Mission: By delivering innovative technology for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, combined with an unrelenting commitment to service excellence, we support healthcare professionals to improve outcomes and quality of life for patients.
Strapline: Committed to beating cancer
Growing International Presence
At the end of last year, we outlined our commitment to our business expansion in Europe, focusing particularly on The Netherlands and Belgium. This included the appointment of Wilco van der Lugt as Commercial Director for Europe, who joined the team with more than 20 years of healthcare-related business experience, complemented by more than 10 years of clinical experience.
BXTA are continuing to build a strong infrastructure for mainland Europe, with the aim of establishing its position as one of the leading providers of uro-oncology products and services. This was further established through the opening of our new distribution warehouse and office in Holland.
By investing in a Netherlands-based warehouse, we are able to minimise lead times for clients, ensuring products are delivered even more quickly and efficiently. Following the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, BXTA has also mitigated the risk of supply chain disruption arising from Brexit by deploying a hub on the continent, with future rollout into Germany, France, Spain and Portugal planned.
Furthermore, BXTA is working with centres in Australia and New Zealand, continuing its support for both LDR brachytherapy and the growing uptake of LA TP with PrecisionPoint™.
Saheed Rashid, Managing Director, BXTA concludes: “As a business, we are committed to supporting healthcare professionals globally to beat cancer, extend life, and create better quality outcomes. We are delighted with the receptiveness we’ve seen from our Dutch partners to date for both the PrecisionPoint Transperineal Access System and our low-dose-rate brachytherapy treatment and look forward to continuing this growth across mainland Europe for the improvement of prostate cancer outcomes.”
Having lost his father to prostate cancer back in 2000, prostate cancer has never been far from motorcycle mechanic and racing enthusiast Paul Ricketts’ mind. Despite not showing any symptoms, it was the memory of his father’s agonising deterioration that prompted Paul to get himself checked out with a PSA test at his local GP surgery in south-east London in late 2018, at the age of 59.
“My reading came back at 10 ng/ mL. It wasn’t particularly high, but anything over a reading of 4.0 sets off alarm bells, so my GP made me an appointment at Guy’s & St Thomas’ for further tests to take place” he recalls.
Paul had a full day of further investigations, including a physical examination; a blood test; urine test; flow test; and an MRI. Following those results, he then underwent a prostate biopsy, again a week later. The biopsy took place in an outpatient setting, using a transperineal ultrasound guided technique and a new device called the PrecisionPoint™ Transperineal Access System, which is a freehand procedure undertaken under local anaesthetic.
“When my father went through it, things seemed pretty random, but my experience was completely different. The consultants had everything mapped out. Using the MRI scan results, they had a good idea of where in the prostate the cancer might be and took 22 samples and targeted the area they thought was affected.”
The biopsy results came through a week later, confirming that Paul did have prostate cancer. While the cancer was present in both sides of the prostate, it was only marginal on one side and hadn’t spread, giving Paul plenty of treatment options to consider. These options included asurgical removal of the entire prostate, or radical prostatectomy; and lowdose-rate brachytherapy. Paul chose brachytherapy because, as he explains, “It seemed the least invasive and gave me a sporting chance of living a longer, better quality of life. Paul’s treatment took place on 9th December 2018. “It was all pretty straightforward. It was a day treatment; they did everything they said they would do and I felt good afterwards. The advances we’ve made since my father went through prostate cancer have been quite incredible.”
Over three years later, Paul is confident. “My lifestyle is pretty good. I’m functioning A1 downstairs and my PSA level is 0.26. The only thing is that I take medication about once a week for pain relief when I urinate, and I don’t drink tea or coffee after 7 or 8pm, otherwise I have to get up more than once at night.
Since his diagnosis and treatment, Paul admits he’s been on a mission with friends and family to get themselves checked. And he can’t emphasise enough the importance for all men to do so. “Older men are very stubborn and most haven’t got the reality check they need to get themselves checked out. That’s the most vital thing they can do. For the sake of a simple blood test, if you catch prostate cancer early, you can extend your life by 10 to 15 years.