Galway’s success challenges common preconceptions about LDR brachytherapy

The Galway Clinic is a state of the art private hospital in Galway, Ireland that provides 24-hour healthcare services. The clinic introduced Oncology treatment and Cardiac services to the West of Ireland in 2004 and provides the widest range of treatment for prostate cancer in Ireland. As a pioneering institution in prostate cancer treatment, it is of the utmost importance for the clinic to ensure it stays at the forefront of innovation within prostate cancer treatment and care.

The treatments offered by Galway include a variation of Low Dose Rate Brachytherapy (LDR-B), External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT) and Hormone Therapy.

BXTAccelyon team members have been supplying the clinic with brachytherapy seeds since it first opened in 2004, treating between 100-120 patients with low dose rate brachytherapy (LDR-B) per annum. Guided by the risk category that a patient is in and other related factors, LDR-B can be used as a combination therapy alongside one or both of the other two treatments.

Speaking about the relationship with BXTAccelyon, Professor Frank Sullivan, Medical Director, Department of Radiation Oncology, the Galway Clinic said, “I’ve  worked with some of the longstanding members of the team for a while now and have an extremely good working relationship with the extended team. When it comes to shipment of the brachytherapy seeds and ancillary products we have the added complexity of being in a different country, but we’ve never had any problems. Overall, BXTAccelyon not only provides exemplary products and customer service, but the team works very hard to keep their finger on the pulse when it comes to advancements in prostate cancer treatments. From a vision perspective, BXTAccelyon shares our objective to ensure that patient empowerment and choice is at the heart of the work we do.”

When it comes to treating low- to intermediate-risk patients the clinic has seen outstanding success with a 98% disease control rate. However, one of the key challenges identified by Professor Sullivan is the lack of information, both for patients and clinicians, in terms of the benefits of LDR-B when it’s used as a combination treatment.

Professor Sullivan explained, “It is my belief that LDR-B is under utilised globally. As such, it’s important that clinics work closely with providers, such as BXTAccelyon to ensure that patients are well educated about their options and that LDR-B becomes more accessible as a treatment option worldwide. The Galway Clinic champions the effectiveness of LDR-B for low-, intermediate- and high-risk patients alike. However, I think more could be done to publicise the positive outcomes of the treatment. Whether it’s those that are more important to patients, such as quality of life and/or those that would be of particular interest to governing bodies, such as cost effectiveness data.

“We have a really positive story to tell from the LDR-B point of view and reporting our outcomes is key. While advances in other key treatment offerings including Active Surveillance, MRI and PSMA scanning will all help to reduce unnecessary and invasive treatments being used as a first port of call, LDR-B has a place in the successful treatment of patients across the entire spectrum. And it’s through the support of organisations like BXTAccelyon that we can continue to offer this to our patients.”