Text to Speach Symbol
RSS Logo
University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust logo


UHBW marks Prostate Cancer Awareness Month with UK leading service

Last updated: 30/03/2023
UHBW therapeutic radiographer Emily Duguid demonstrating the dispensing of radium

UHBW therapeutic radiographer Emily Duguid demonstrating the dispensing of radium

This Prostate Cancer Awareness Month (March 2023), University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW) is highlighting its UK leading treatment for patients with prostate cancer.

The Trust’s clinical team are specialists in their field, with particular expertise in the use of Radium 223, which is a radioactive drug used for the treatment of men with advanced prostate cancer and symptomatic bone metastases (prostate cancer that has spread to the bones causing pain). The drug aims to reduce the skeletal consequences of prostate cancer which has spread to the bones, including bone pain, and also to improve the length and quality of life for patients.

Operating from a small, specialist department in the Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre (BHOC), a team of therapeutic radiographers, oncology doctors and nurses have treated more than 500 patients from across the South West over the past 10 years – the most treated by a Trust in the UK.

UHBW has also supported 17 other NHS Foundation Trusts across the UK to be able to set up their own Radium 223 service, including producing training materials and sharing their clinical expertise with external teams involved in the delivery of the service.

Dr Serena Hilman, consultant clinical oncologist at the BHOC, said: “Radium 223 involves a 30-minute treatment appointment every four weeks, where the Radium 223 is given by a small injection. The treatment can be very effective and importantly, not intrusive to patients maintaining a normal lifestyle.”

Ellie Cradock, therapeutic radiographer manager of the Molecular Radiotherapy Department at the BHOC, said: “I’m very proud to be able to say that we are a leading Trust when it comes to the high number of Radium 223 patients we have treated.

“We wouldn't be able to do this without the support from our colleagues across the Trust. From the clinical trials unit team who have been amazing at supporting us with providing our patients with the latest cutting edge treatments that are available, to the radiopharmacy team, the PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) team, our delivery drivers and hotel services team along with our physics team with whom we work incredibly closely, we would like to thank them for all of the support that they have given us to enable us to provide these treatments to our patients.

“We look forward to being able to continue to develop, grow and offer our patients the very best treatments available.”

Patient Graham Bell

Patient Graham Bell has been undergoing Radium 223 treatment

Graham Bell from Bristol was diagnosed with prostate cancer in May 2020 and completed six cycles of Radium 223 in February 2023 at the BHOC.

He said: “The Radium 223 procedures are very straightforward, quick and easy – and you don’t feel a thing! You’re in and out within 20 minutes. What I like about coming up here is that the people are all happy and jolly. They’re dedicated and brilliant at what they do.”

Watch our film about Radium 223 treatment.

More information on Radium 223 treatment can be found on the UHBW website.