News, NHS trust

Trial of powered biopsy device at Clatterbridge leads to “measurable benefits for patients”

Clatterbridge Cancer Centre has trialled a powered biopsy device called OnControl that aims to shorten the procedure to take bone marrow biopsies from patients, with trial participants calling the process “much less stressful and painful”.

With manual biopsies requiring two passes into the bone to collect liquid and solid material to test, Clatterbridge notes that they can be “invasive and uncomfortable”, particularly for younger people with harder bones. Haemato-oncology nurse consultant, Craig Simon, identified a new electronic method being used in other trusts which “reduces patients’ pain and is quicker” as the device can require one pass into the bone to take both samples rather than two.

66 patient samples generated through the six-month trial at Clatterbridge have corroborated the findings from other centres, Craig said, showing “measurable benefits to patients”. The trust shares a story from a patient who has experienced the electronic biopsy method; the patient reported that he found it “much easier to access the bone without the pushing and pulling and the pain was nowhere near as bad. The length of procedure was also a lot shorter, making the whole process much less stressful and painful. I would highly recommend this for any future transactions for me or anyone else.”

Craig also notes that the powered biopsy device can be useful in saving staff time.

Next year, the results from the trial will be presented formally in the hopes that Clatterbridge can adopt the method for suitable patients.

In other news from the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, the trust has announced its role as one of the eight early adopter sites of the NHS’s new National Competency Framework (NCF) for the recruitment and development of data professionals, designed to “professionalise the data and analytics workforce within health and care and create a vibrant culture within the wider workforce” through collaborative work to standardise what data professionals are, what they do and their development.

Elsewhere, a study undertaken by the The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and The Institute of Cancer Research, London, has shared the effectiveness of a new AI algorithm for tailoring treatment for some sarcoma patients and to help diagnose subtypes of rare disease.