Welcome from Saheed Rashid
Welcome to our first BXTAccelyon newsletter for 2021!
We hope it provides an insight into some of the many projects we are involved with in Uro- Oncology and specifically Prostate Cancer diagnosis and treatment. Here you can find updates on the successful TRexit initiative, where hospitals, such as Southmead Hospital, have managed to continue running their LATP biopsy programmes throughout the pandemic.
We also discuss how virtual webinars throughout 2020 have allowed us to keep in touch with centres and continue to provide medical training and finally, we discuss our growth plans across our business. With the roll out of vaccines picking up pace, we wish you all a safe and healthy start to this new year.
Saheed Rashid, Managing Director & Co-Founder
The UK Embracing the PrecisionPoint™ Transperineal Access System
Despite the pressures hospitals globally faced during 2020, the rollout of the TRexit initiative continued, with new centres across the UK embracing the PrecisionPoint™ Transperineal Access System.
Great strides were made in the South West of England, where the Bristol Urological Institute at Southmead Hospital was able to eradicate TRUS biopsies altogether early in the year, followed by the adoption of LA TP in all 13 Acute Trusts under the South West Cancer Alliances (SWAG and PCA) by the end of the year.
Similarly, in Scotland, NHS Lothian’s Western General Hospital in Edinburgh has successfully replaced the GA grid template prostate cancer biopsy procedure with LA TP.
With increased pressure on GA theatre slots and the need to maintain essential cancer services, in March the Western General was able to prove a ‘test of change’ case for prostate cancer patients with anterior prostate cancer, as well as patients with a prior negative TRUS biopsy result; those at risk of sepsis; and those with high PSA density in a large prostate. The hospital now carries out over 25% of biopsies using LA TP.
In both cases, there have been zero incidents of sepsis, improved cancer detection rates and a better patient experience.
As we all had to adapt the way we worked and the services we provided, BXTAccelyon remained committed to providing assistance to our healthcare partners globally to ensure we could support LA TP procedures with PrecisionPoint now and in the future.
We were delighted to have the support of Dr. Ben Namdarian in Australia and Dr. George van Andel & Dr. Sybren Rynja in the Netherlands to deliver PrecisionPoint webinar workshops. While not a replacement for courses and on site training, these webinars have provided a valuable opportunity to view patient biopsy procedures with a live step by step guide; to provide an understanding of how PrecisionPoint can fit in with current practices; and how it can evolve to opportunities to deliver transperineal biopsies under local anaesthetic.
Patient feedback on LDR-B continues to be highly positive, as two patients shared their stories with us last year.
Russell Stewart, a 69-year-old retired Sergeant in the Royal Engineers Bomb Disposal, and Police Sergeant from Newcastle, was diagnosed in the summer of 2018 with a small and curable lesion contained within the prostate.
Together with the multidisciplinary consultancy team at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead, Russell began to explore the various options available for treatment, which included undergoing a radical prostatectomy or low dose rate brachytherapy.
With such an important decision ahead, Russell researched his options for around 6 weeks as he continued to ask questions on each of the procedures to ensure he was as informed as he could be. From his research, he interpreted that the potential side effects of brachytherapy, compared to surgery, would be less intrusive and have less impact on his lifestyle, which involves lots of walking and working with gun dogs. He settled on brachytherapy as his preferred treatment option in August 2018, and underwent the procedure at the Newcastle Freeman Hospital on the 11th of December.
“ From a personal perspective, my problems with urination and bowel movements have gone from good, to better, to even better over time. I’m better than I was before the operation, and I haven’t had any issues since which I’m quite pleased with,”
Russell comments. Since his operation, his last three PSA test sores have been under 1.
Discussing his prostate cancer experience, Russell applauds the process from diagnosis to the operation:
“ It couldn’t have been any better. I don’t think I would’ve had better or faster treatment in a private situation than with the National Health.”
David Robb was a 68-year-old retired secondary school teacher from Peebles, Scotland when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer last Summer. After two years of health checks following minor symptoms of LUTS, his PSA (prostate-specific antigen) level had risen from 3.8 from his first check in January 2017, to a score of 4.2 in July 2019. The confirmed cancer was fortunately contained on one side of the prostate and at an early stage of progression, and the Nurse Practitioner reassured David that it should be treatable without too many problems.
Following the diagnosis, David was referred from the Borders General Hospital where the biopsy was conducted, to the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh for a follow-up appointment and treatment.
With concerns around the side effects and recovery associated with surgery and hormone therapy, David researched the various treatment options available. As a fiddle player and dance instructor in a ceilidh band for over 30 years, his social life played an important factor in his final decision about what treatment route to go down.
“ Early December 2019, I met with the radiotherapy consultant first, Duncan McLaren, who discussed various options including classic radiotherapy plus hormone therapy, and brachytherapy. I wasn’t happy about having to do hormone therapy due to the repercussions, so brachytherapy made more sense. It seemed to be the best option in the short term for me to carry on with my normal activities.”
On the 14th of February 2020, David received the brachytherapy procedure at the Western General Hospital.
Speaking about how he felt after the procedure, David highlighted how he only had paracetamol overnight after the treatment and has not needed painkillers since.
“I haven’t felt any pain after urination settled down into a more normal routine on the second day – I don’t have any great urgency and have never had any accidents since. It’s entirely under control as far as I can see, and it’s done everything I wanted it to do.”
Since his recovery, David has been able to go back to normality and play
in his ceilidh band without any problems (since cut short by COVID-19). He compares his experience to the alternative of surgery, saying:
“ I think if I was to have had surgery, I might still have had continence issues and certainly sexual problems. I’ve had a completely different experience from some people I know, and everyone around me is amazed. My wife, who is a retired nurse with 39 years’ experience, is totally impressed.”
New diagnostic self-learning tool, MRI
Early last year, we were delighted to add a new diagnostic self-learning tool, MRI PRO, to our portfolio of products and services.
MRI PRO is a subscrip tion based e-learning platform that allows healthcare professionals to test themselves on 300 of the highest quality histology-verified prostate MRI cases. All cases on MRI PR O are acquired and reported to PIRADS v.2 specifications, using 3T magnets and expert prostate MRI radiologists and experts. Users submit their answers on PIRADS score, location of index lesions and staging information for each case, and get instant feedback on how they did, including access to the actual biopsy report.
The platform provides users with performance over time, with a percentage score of correct answers for the last 20 and 50 cases reviewed.
Saheed Rashid comments: “Prostate MRI represents the next stage in prostate cancer diagnosis, but there is an unmet demand for education and training in MRI imaging and interpretation by all healthcare professionals, including in nur sing, junior doctor, urologist and radiologist training. BXTAccelyon is therefore proud to be the global distribution partner for this online learning platform that is paving the way for MRI education.”
For more information, read on here
Expansion into Europe
During the end of 2020, BXTAccelyon appointed Wilco van der Lugt as Commercial Director for Europe, as part of the strategic development of BXTAccleyon’s business expansion in Europe, focusing personally on The Netherlands and Belgium.
Wilco has joined BXTAccelyon with more than 20 years of healthcare-related business experience, complemented by more than 10 years of clinical experience. In addition to being a qualified r adiographer, Wilco has worked for several medical device companies in a range of management roles, including General Manager, Benelux, which provided an excellent foundation in LDR brachytherapy and working closely with hospital oncology teams.
The investment represents BXTA’s first step in building 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. With Wilco’s extensive knowledge and experience, we are confident that he will provide excellent leadership for the company in the Benelux region and across the wider European market.
Customer Operations Team
As we continued to grow and expand during the year, we made some changes to our Customer Services Team to highlight the instrumental role they play in helping our clients across the globe to deliver prostate cancer services for their patients. To emphasise the work and dedication of our growing Customer Services team, we made the decision to re-introduce this team as our Customer Operations department, who will continue to help and offer advice and services over 2021.
Additionally, Daniel Jezzard joined this team at the beginning of November as Customer Operations Executive. He has several years of customer service and logistics experience, having previously worked with organisations such as medical device provider, ResMed. As part of our expansion into mainland Europe, Daniel’s fluency in Spanish and French brings further value to our customer service offering.
For more insight into the role of our Customer Operations Team,