The Papillon team from The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre with their award.

Published May 12th, 2018 | News

Clatterbridge win leading cancer award

The Papillon team at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre last night scooped a prestigious British Medical Journal Award.

The entry, Papillon for Rectal Cancer, was the winner of the Cancer Care Team category.

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre pioneered this life changing treatment when Professor Arthur Sun Myint, Lead Papillon Clinician, first introduced the technique to the United Kingdom 25 years ago. He said the honour was reward for the dedication of the team and their patient centered care.

Prof Myint said: “I was very humbled. This is a reward for 25 years of blood sweat and tears and championing the rights of our patients. Patient care is at the centre of everything we do. Since 1993 we have been offering an alternative to surgery and a stoma for our patients. As demand grows for Papillon treatment, we are also helping to educate and train clinicians to provide a wider service in the UK and beyond.”

Ann Farrar, Interim Chief Executive of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust, said: “A very warm congratulations to Prof Myint and the Papillon team on this very well deserved award.

“This is fantastic recognition for their hard work and their ethos of always putting patients first.”

The BMJs are the UK’s leading medical awards and were presented last night (Thursday 10th May) at the Park Plaza Westminster Hotel in London.

The other finalists in the category were the Barts Health Cancer Care at Home, Improving Breast Screening at Medway NHS Foundation Trust, the Nurse Led Immunotherapy Clinic at Leeds Cancer Centre, the ORTC Programme at Oxford University Hospitals and the RAPID Programme at Wythenshaw Hospital in Manchester.

Papillon is recommended for patients who are not fit enough for general anaesthesia or those who want to avoid major surgery. It is low energy contact radiotherapy delivered to the tumour via a treatment tube.

Another benefit is that it avoids the need for patients to have surgery which can result in them requiring a temporary or permanent stoma (colostomy bag).

Now in their 10th year, The BMJ Awards promote excellence in healthcare and recognise the inspirational work of healthcare teams across the country.

The submission from the Papillon team laid out the aim of the service, to reduce surgical mortality and stoma rates by proposing a change from surgery to minimally invasive, non-surgical treatment.

It also highlighted achievements including recommendation in 2015 by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and a survey, carried out by NICE, that showed a high level of patient satisfaction.

The Papillon Suite at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre recently celebrated its silver anniversary.

In the 25 years since it was established at the Wirral hospital, staff have treated 1450 patients with rectal cancer.

Ron Johnston, 66, from Monmouthshire, was treated at the Papillon suite in 2014 after being diagnosed with lower rectal cancer.

He said: “I was offered surgery and was told that after that I would permanently need a colostomy bag. It came as a real shock that there was no alternative being offered to me. It was a fait accompli. I could not have dealt with the operation and its on-going consequences. It is as simple as that.”

Ron decided to do some research and discovered The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre was offering Papillon treatment.

He said: “After a course of external beam radiotherapy and oral chemotherapy in 2014 I had four sessions of Papillon treatment. Everything about my experience was outstanding, the treatment and the personnel.”

Ron had a colonoscopy in March this year and was told all traces of his tumour have gone.

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