Published on: 14 March 2024

Cancer patients in the region are set to benefit from innovative new treatments thanks to the opening of a new state-of-the-art £4m nuclear medicine and molecular radiotherapy suite at Weston Park Cancer Centre.

The brand-new facility – which boasts high-precision technologies which can detect, image and treat tumours and visualise organ systems in real time – will play a key role in enabling the specialist cancer hospital to deliver a wave of newly targeted treatments that are set to come on board in the next few years.

It will also provide opportunities for patients across the region to take part in leading national and international cancer research trials.

The new Centre will build on Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s reputation as a European Neuroendocrine Tumour Society Centre of Excellence for the treatment and diagnosis of rare neuroendocrine tumours and increase the capacity of the Trust’s nuclear medicine department to provide treatment for these tumours across a wide geographical area.

It was officially opened by South Yorkshire’s Mayor Oliver Coppard at a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week (8 March).

Oliver was given a tour of the department, which includes diagnostic and treatment areas, special therapy preparation rooms, and a hybrid SPECTI-CT scanner.

He was also shown how the lead-lined building and shielded preparation and treatment bays limit radiation exposure.

Also in attendance were former international FIFA and FA football referee and Weston Park Cancer Charity Patron Uriah Rennie, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Chief Executive Kirsten Major and nuclear medicine patient Russell Dickens.

Weston Park Cancer Centre Consultant Clinical Oncologist Professor Jonathan Wadsley said: “We are delighted to be opening this cutting-edge facility which will enable us to continue delivering breakthrough treatments to patients in the South Yorkshire region and beyond and pair sophisticated imaging techniques with targeted therapies to lessen the side of effects of cancer treatments."

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Consultant Clinical Scientist Anna Hallam said: “This purpose-built suite enables us to offer all our patients access to the latest advances in nuclear medicine diagnostic imaging and the opportunity for cancer patients to access new, exciting treatments sooner.”

The purpose-built unit will be staffed by nuclear medicine technologists, clinical scientists, oncologists and radiologists.

The opening event was supported by Weston Park Cancer Charity, following their investment in refurbishing the brachytherapy and molecular radiotherapy inpatient suite in 2022.

Weston Park Cancer Charity CEO Emma Clarke said: “Weston Park Cancer Charity is delighted to support today’s event which launches these incredible enhancements to the nuclear medicine facility. Cancer patients across our region will benefit from these new technologies and future research trials. It’s excellent that we have this state-of-the-art suite at Weston Park Cancer Centre.”

Weston Park Cancer Charity provide services, advice, therapies and support for those affected by cancer in the Sheffield and South Yorkshire region, along with funding lifesaving research and clinical trials.