Peter’s story – Radiotherapy for prostate cancer on the MRIdian MR Linac
Peter was diagnosed with prostate cancer in November 2019 following a visit to his GP, prompted by the fact he was experiencing sleep issues caused by routinely waking in the night to urinate. After a PSA test, and a series of scans and biopsies, Peter was diagnosed with locally advanced prostate cancer.
He was advised that treatment should commence quickly as the cancer had started to detach itself from the wall of the prostate, meaning there was a chance it could spread and become more difficult to treat.
Having initially gone through an NHS pathway, Peter decided to continue his journey using his private medical insurance. He was referred to Dr Prantik Das, a clinical oncologist at GenesisCare in Oxford, who specialises in prostate cancer.
Having played hockey for England’s over 70’s team for 2 years and being in the World Cup winning squad in 2018 Peter was concerned that major treatment or surgery could affect his quality of life and his ability to continue with his active lifestyle.
(Peter playing for England Over 75’s against Wales, March 2022)
Personalised treatment plans that provide the best possible life outcomes are at the heart of GenesisCare – therefore knowing Peter’s concerns and based on his diagnosis, Dr Das recommended radiotherapy treatment on the MRIdian MR Linac. The UK’s first MRIdian machine uses innovative radiotherapy technology to treat tumours using live images, meaning clinicians can see in ‘real time’ as they treat. The greater accuracy delivered by the MRIdian also meant that Peter needed fewer treatments, so disruption was kept to a minimum – something that was really important to him.
Not only does the MRIdian allow for fewer treatment sessions, but the advanced technology combines live imagery and automated beam control to avoid healthy tissue being damaged. If a tumour moves, even slightly, the treatment will automatically pause until it comes back into position. This increased accuracy means clinicians have a greater level of control and are confident in precisely targeting the tumour.
Peter began his treatment in January 2020 at GenesisCare in Oxford. Receiving just five sessions of treatment over alternate days Peter’s hockey playing remained uninterrupted. Both Peter and his wife were impressed with how quick and efficient treatment on the MRIdian was, enabling him to remain active throughout and without experiencing any side effects.
Peter comments “More men need to be aware of prostate cancer and the signs of the disease. I’m urging men to know the symptoms and get checked if they notice anything – it is just a single blood test to find out your PSA level which could be lifesaving.”
Peter continues, “I am so thankful that I was able to access such incredible treatment at GenesisCare. Not only was the experience made as comfortable as possible, but the actual technology used for my treatment was outstanding. My biggest worry was not being able to play hockey again for England over 70’s, but in fact I was still able to play whilst undergoing treatment – I even played squash and hockey in the weekend in between my treatments.”
Commenting on the case Dr Das, says, “Peter’s cancer was localised inside the prostate, meaning there was no evidence that the cancer had spread to other tissues. This meant that he was eligible for treatment on the UK’s first MRIdian machine, at GenesisCare.
“Treatment on the MRIdian allowed us to target the tumour with high precision and accuracy, maximising the radiation dosage to the tumour, meaning fewer sessions, which was great for Mr Denley and his active lifestyle.”
Dr Das continues, “I’m delighted that Peter has responded to treatment well. His PSA levels are now 0.3 compared to his pre-diagnosis PSA levels of 15.
“Just as Peter did, I would always urge men to visit their GP if they experience any signs of prostate cancer, as an early detection often improves the overall outcome.”
With lockdown easing Peter has been able to resume his normal hockey schedule, playing up to 3 times a week and even playing in a match where his masters team won against an Under 18 side. He’s also planning to see more of friends and family this summer as restrictions ease.