Fringe Box



County Hospital Needs £200k for Radiotherapy Machine to Help Treat Bowel Cancer

Published on: 15 Mar, 2013
Updated on: 19 Mar, 2013
Dr Alex Stewart, oncologist at the RSCH and chairman of BRIGHT, at Papillon fundraising launch, RHS Wisley.

Dr Alex Stewart, oncologist at the RSCH and chairman of BRIGHT, at Papillon fundraising launch, RHS Wisley.

At a recent business breakfast networking meeting, Guildford’s MP Anne Milton, a former nurse, said that we should all take notice of what is going on in our pants and knickers. We might not like to talk about it, she said, but it is important to report any signs of concern at an early stage to our GPs.

Now the Royal Surrey County Hospital (RSCH), already renowned for it cancer treatments, is obtaining another piece of state of the art equipment.

The hospital plans to become the first hospital in the South to offer ‘Papillon’ [French for butterfly] treatment for cancer. A major fundraising campaign by bowel cancer charities BRIGHT* and GUTS* is now underway to raise the £200k required to purchase the Papillon machine.

Papillon is a contact radiotherapy treatment suitable for patients with early stage bowel cancer. This treatment offers patients an alternative to major surgery and a better quality of life and may avoid the need for a colostomy bag, is a major issue for many people.

Papillon is only currently available in Liverpool and Hull. The RSCH hopes to introduce the Papillon machine in late Spring 2013 thus becoming the first hospital in the South to offer this type of cancer treatment.

A Papillon contact radiotherapy machine

A Papillon contact radiotherapy machine

Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer in the UK and more than 16,000 people die from bowel cancer every year. There are approximately 8,000 rectal cancers diagnosed each year and up to a third of these tumours might be suitable for the Papillon treatment.

The roll out of the National Bowel Cancer Screening programme (Guildford is the centre for the South of England for testing patients) will find many early stage tumours which are suitable for the Papillon technique.

Dr Alexandra Stewart, clinical director and consultant clinical oncologist at the Royal Surrey County Hospital and chairman of BRIGHT said: “The Papillon machine will benefit many patients from across the South of England.

“As the treatment is applied directly applied to the tumour, there is less damage to the surrounding normal tissue. It enables us to preferentially kill the cancer cells through a less invasive technique and may offer patients an improved quality of life over other treatments,”

Professor Marks, founder of GUTS, added, “This is an exciting opportunity to offer the Papillon technique developed in Lyons, France since the 1970s. This technique is especially suitable for early bowel cancer which will be detected by screening.”

Fundraising events and activities this year by BRIGHT and GUTS will focus on raising the £200k required for the purchase of the Papillon machine. For BRIGHT, the first event will take the form of a bridge afternoon tea on Friday 26th April.

For more information or to donate, please visit either or

*BRIGHT funds vital research for gastro-intestinal (GI) cancer patients. This includes bowel cancer i.e. colon, rectum and anus, and cancers of the stomach, oesophagus, pancreas, and gallbladder. The charity was set up in 1996 for patients treated at St Luke’s Cancer Centre (RSCH, Guildford) and the work carried out has significantly improved patients survival outcomes and treatments.

*GUTS started screening for bowel cancer in 1983, and Guildford is now the centre for screening tests for the whole of the South of England. They also fund a Family Colorectal Cancer Clinic (FCCC) based at the RSCH This offers advice and screening to people at a high risk of developing bowel cancer. GUTS also funds research into new ways of detecting bowel cancer and into better ways of treating the disease. The Royal Surrey is also the centre for Laproscopic (keyhole) surgery. This reduces hospital stay and improves the patient outcome.

Share This Post

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *