The BMJ Awards recognise the incredible work that healthcare teams across the country do every day, with the aim of promoting excellence in healthcare. 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.
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).
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.
In the 25 years since it was established at the Wirral hospital, staff have treated 1450 patients with rectal cancer and the Papillon Suite at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre recently celebrated its silver anniversary.
Of the award Arthur Sun Myint, who is an Honorary Cellular and Molecular Physiology University Professor, 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.”
More than 350 teams from across the country entered applications for awards in 15 categories. More information about the awards can be found here.