Advanced bowel cancer can often spread to the liver, so Mr Brooks was put on the Firefox trial, which tests a new method called radioembolisation. The size of a tumour and its location within the body can often make removal using conventional radiotherapy quite difficult.
The new technique can overcome this problem by delivering high-doses of radiation directly into liver tumours for short amounts of time, using radioactive ‘microspheres’ that are injected into their blood supply. These microspheres become trapped in the tumour, which kill the cancer cells with little damage to healthy tissues.
Mr Brooks attended Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge to undergo the Firefox treatment over just two days. Doctors mapped the blood flow over his liver on the first day, before injecting the radioactive microspheres into the tumours blood supply.
In just four months, Mr Brooks was told that the tumours in his liver had disappeared and he would be able to commence with chemotherapy to reduce the colon tumour, which they were eventually able to remove.
View the original Telegraph article.