A team of experts at the Comprehensive Cancer Centre at Mediclinic City Hospital successfully performed prostate brachytherapy using state-of-the-art equipment including the Varian GammaMed HDR brachytherapy machine and BK 5000 ultrasound machine Image Credit: Supplied

The Comprehensive Cancer Centre at Mediclinic City Hospital has become the first hospital to provide prostate brachytherapy in the UAE. This highly effective treatment delivers high-precision radiotherapy directly into the prostate using needles placed under ultrasound guidance. This can treat the cancer without a radical surgery or weeks-long course of radiotherapy.

Moreover, in comparative studies, brachytherapy has proven to be the most cost-effective treatment with least risk of complications. The procedure only takes a couple of hours and the patient can go home the same day without needing time off work for recovery.

An engineer from Abu Dhabi became the first man with prostate cancer to benefit from this advanced form of treatment without needing to go through a radical surgery.

A team of experts at the Comprehensive Cancer Centre successfully performed this pioneering procedure on March 9 using state-of-the-art equipment including the Varian GammaMed HDR brachytherapy machine and BK 5000 ultrasound machine. The team was led by Dr Rana Irfan Mahmood, a radiation oncologist with vast UK-based experience and specialist interest in prostate cancer. A multidisciplinary team of experts including medical physicists, radiation therapists and nurses was involved in delivering this high-precision treatment.

“I must confess that I was nervous to be the first but the team at Mediclinic led by Dr Rana Irfan Mahmood was very professional and put me at ease,” said the patient. “Now I’m happy that I went through this simple treatment without surgery. Thank you Mediclinic for offering this prostate brachytherapy treatment, as the first and only provider in the UAE.”

Mediclinic City Hospital’s Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Dubai is a founding member of the Middle Eastern Society of Radiation Oncology (MESTRO), enhancing the availability of brachytherapy to patients in this region. Dr Nadeem Pervaiz, Vice Chairman, MESTRO, attended the session and thanked Mediclinic for making this advanced treatment available to the population in the UAE and beyond.

“Radiotherapy and brachytherapy can treat prostate cancer the same way as surgery but without needing a major operation,” said Dr Mahmood, who led the procedure. “Brachytherapy is the safest, most cost-effective and has least recovery time and impact on daily life. This is the standard of care in the western world but until now it was not available to men in our region. Thank you Mediclinic for investing in the resources so our patients can access this effective therapy without needing to travel abroad.”

The Comprehensive Cancer Centre is not only committed to provide world-class care to cancer patients but also training to other cancer care providers in the region. Its radiotherapy team recently helped the team at Sultan Qaboos Centre in Muscat to become the first hospital in Oman to provide advanced interstitial brachytherapy using needles to treat large cervical cancer. Mediclinic pioneered this treatment in 2021 and remains the only hospital to provide this therapy in the UAE. In partnership with Varian, the leading radiotherapy equipment manufacturer, opportunities will be provided to other teams in the UAE and abroad for hands-on training to learn these advanced radiotherapy techniques.