Hornchurch man with ‘inoperable tumour’ saved by radical new cancer blaster at Queen’s Hospital, Romford

Gary Rubin is pictured in front of the RapidArc machine with consultant oncologist Sherif Raouf. Pic

Gary Rubin is pictured in front of the RapidArc machine with consultant oncologist Sherif Raouf. Picture: BHRUT - Credit: Archant

A cancer patient with an “inoperable tumour” has returned to Queen’s Hospital after revolutionary treatment saved his life.

Solicitor Gary Rubin, from Hornchurch, was told by medics in London that his pancreatic growth was too large to operate on and that there was only a one per cent chance it could be reduced enough for surgery.

“I was so gutted, and really upset for my children,” said Gary. “When the odds are stacked against you, you just want the best chance.

“When I asked the Royal Marsden about the treatment plan at Queen’s, they were surprised to find out that they had the very latest equipment and best treatments there.e.”

A new state-of-the-art radiotherapy machine, called RapidArc, was recently at the Rom Valley Way hospital, which cuts down treatment time, and is far more accurate than previous techniques.

It targets the tumour specifically, reducing the impact on surrounding healthy tissue and organs, dramatically slashing side effects.

Consultant oncologist, Sherif Raouf, said: “Gary was a perfect candidate for RapidArc. We hadn’t yet started using the machine, and had planned to use it to treat prostate patients first.

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“But I knew it could really help Gary, so all of the staff pulled together to recalibrate the machine so he could use it.”

Gary had 33 sessions of radiotherapy over two months, with staff taking a keen interest in his progress.

“Because I was the first to have this treatment, I had a real audience!” said Gary. “Everyone treated me like royalty and the attention to detail was unbelievable. The whole team, from staff on the front desk to the doctors and radiologists, were really friendly and supportive.”

When Gary returned to see his surgeon, the tumour had shrunk so much that they were able to operate.

Gary said “My partner is over the moon and the children ecstatic. I feel really positive about the future, looking at things with a different perspective.

“It has given me a second chance at life.”

The RapidArc equipment is now being used to treat patients with pelvic, prostate, pancreatic, brain and head and neck cancers.