Treatment prognosis is looking better

A pilot project here to improve the treatment of prostate cancer is showing promising results.

A pilot project here to improve the treatment of prostate cancer is showing promising results and could lead to improved outcomes across B.C. in future, say doctors at the Sindi Ahluwalia Hawkins Cancer Centre for the Southern Interior.

Dr. Ross Halperin, professional practice leader in radiation oncology at the B.C. Cancer Agency’s centre, told a fund-raising B.C. Cancer Foundation luncheon in Kelowna that the high-dose rate  brachytherapy pilot project could prove superior to current treatments used to fight prostate cancer.

The treatment, which sends radiation through tiny catheters placed in the prostate gland, may have fewer side effects than the traditional method of implanting tiny irradiated “seeds” in the prostate to fight the disease, said Halperin.

The pilot project, led here by internationally regarded radiation oncologist Dr. Juanita Krook has already treated 15 men diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The first patient in the program, Ralph Ormerod, said he was very pleased with the procedure and the outcome, noting he went from diagnosis last year to completing his full treatment in just seven months.

“I now ride my mountain bike three times a week and I feel great,” said Ormerod, 63.

He said he was particularly pleased that the new treatment allowed his doctor to isolate areas of the prostate for radiation, a move Halperin said can keep other more sensitive parts like the urethra from being hit with high doses of radiation.

In B.C., prostate cancer strikes one in eight men and the brachytherapy program that currently exists at KGH (using planted seeds) has seen the number of patients its sees increase every year since it started in 2004. Last year 138 men were treated at the unit.

Based on the findings of the HDR brachytherapy project here, it will be used across B.C. to treat prostate cancer sufferers in future.

It is already being used in Ontario and Quebec and has shown good results, said Halperin.

The treatment also shows promise for the treatment of breast cancer in women, said Halperin.

At the luncheon, he stressed the need for philanthropy to assist research when it comes to cancer treatments such as the pilot project here.

While Canada has some of the best cancer treatment outcomes in the world and B.C. has some of the best in the country, provincial funds pay for operational costs and some equipment, not research.

Money for research comes mainly from donations collected by groups like the B.C. Cancer Foundation and passed onto to the B.C. Cancer Agency.

At the luncheon, which the foundation  wants to turn into an annual event, $13,000 was raised in 90 minutes and added to by a $10,000 donation from local businessman Brad Field. The Bank Of Montreal was also recognized for a $10,000 donation.

The HDR brachytherapy pilot project, which started in June and is now moving into its second phase looking at possible side effects, was funded by a local anonymous donor who put up $225,000.

 

awaters@kelownacapnews.com

 

 

Kelowna Capital News

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BREAKING: Public urged to avoid Cooper Road area due to police incident

‘Suspicious circumstance’ shuts down area, closing multiple businesses

Crash halts northbound traffic at Benvoulin and KLO Rd

Two vehicles crashed shortly before noon, northbound traffic stopped

Kelowna RCMP warn public as gift card scam season comes

“Gift cards are for gifts, not payments,” Kelowna RCMP said

Kelowna to crown Next Drag Superstar as part of Pride Week

The annual contest takes place on Sept. 25 and 26 outside of Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Warriors to face-off against Vipers in first game of Okanagan Cup

The Warriors won last year’s season series against the Vipers 4-2

B.C.’s top doctor thanks supporters after revealing threats over COVID-19 measures

Dr. Bonnie Henry says COVID-19 has caused some people to lash out in anger and frustration out of fear

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

B.C. VOTES 2020: Speculation tax misses speculators, B.C. Liberals say

Andrew Wilkinson, John Horgan clash over housing costs, solutions

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Osoyoos model train attraction wins Tripadvisor award

Desert Model Railroad wins nod for Traveller’s Choice

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Hedley man advertises bounty on rats

One rat tail will net five dollars

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

NDP, Greens divided on pace of child care improvements in B.C. election campaign

NDP Leader John Horgan recommitted to $10-a-day child care and blamed the Greens for not supporting his efforts

Most Read