Minimally-invasive techniques – the patient’s friend

Minimally-invasive techniques – the patient’s friend

Inspire2Live congress, November 11, Amsterdam 

Many techniques used for diagnosis and treatments have been around for decades. For screening breast cancer with mammography, we use a technique that started in the seventies…of the last century. For diagnosis of prostate cancer 12 needles are often still pushed through the anus. Both techniques are extremely hostile to patients and unnecessary. We can do much better, but we don’t. In the same way that people do not want to change, healthcare is no exception. Yet people do have an enormous capacity to adapt which is the reason why we, homo sapiens, are still here today. 

For prostate cancer a new, safe, cheap and patient-friendly way of diagnosis has been developed by Professor Jelle Barentsz from Radboud University Medical Center (among others). With MRI as the basis, the 12 needles are history. For treating patients with prostate cancer, Professor Jan Lagendijk (among others) from UMC Utrecht developed a new technique with the MR-Linac: a combination of a radiotherapy accelerator with a diagnostic MRI leading to more precise treatment of the tumour. 

These are just two examples that show that there are good possibilities to innovate and implement these techniques with the support of patient advocates. And when implemented, healthcare professionals will adapt simply because a) the techniques are underpinned by solid research b) the doctors are able and willing to treat their patients and c) most importantly, patients say: ‘This is how we want to be treated!’ 

Who can resist the combination of patient advocates, researchers and clinicians? And what might be the reason that regulators and governments choose not to initiate this? 

 Inspire2Live took the initiative to bring together a group of patient advocates, researchers, clinicians, regulators and industry professionals, around the modern way of screening, diagnosing and treating prostate cancer. With the cooperation of all stakeholders in the medical industrial complex we can implement innovative techniques and help healthcare to adapt. 

For more information on the program click here
 If you want to join, please send me an email: peter.kapitein@inspire2live.org

Peter Kapitein
Patient Advocate Inspire2Live