Pancreas cancer first for The London Clinic

Oncosil delivers radio-active microparticles straight to the pancreatic tumour. © Dr Berry Allen


The London Clinic has announced it is the first independent hospital in the UK to employ OncoSil, a ‘breakthrough’ new treatment for pancreatic cancer.

This is a single-use brachytherapy device (internal radiation) that delivers a pre-determined dose of beta-radiation directly into cancerous tissue. 

It is used in combination with chemotherapy to treat patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer.

The hospital said the new nuclear medicine therapy was an option for treating locally advanced pancreatic cancer where the tumour is unresectable.

Beta particles emitted by OncoSil cause damage to cancer cell DNA, which renders them incapable of further cell division which can ultimately shrink the tumour mass.  

The treatment has been shown in clinical studies to increase overall survival and lead to downstaging, allowing patients to undergo surgery to remove their tumours. This surgery statistically improves the five-year survival rate from ~7% to >20%. 

Dr Zarni Win

Implantation is an outpatient procedure which takes around 60 minutes. 

Dr Zarni Win, radiologist and nuclear medicine physician at The London Clinic, said: ‘I am particularly excited about this new therapy, as it now offers a much higher chance for pancreatic cancer patients with locally advanced disease to undergo curative surgery following OncoSil therapy, compared to a pessimistic outcome with conventional treatment.’

Nigel Lange, chief executive and managing director at the makers, said: ‘This provides patients and their clinicians with an encouraging new approach and hope in a disease where there has been little advancement for decades.’