K&C team join prostate cancer trial

From left, Sashi Kommu, Curtis Phelan, and Jenny Hansen. They are pictured in a clinical room with a medical chair with stirrups. They are all wearing face masks.
From left, Sashi Kommu, Curtis Phelan, and Jenny Hansen

Published 26 May 2022

Surgeons at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital have recruited their first patient to a national trial comparing treatments for men with prostate cancer.

The urology team are working with East Kent Hospitals’ research team on a randomised controlled trial comparing transrectal biopsy treatment with transperineal for men with potential prostate cancer. The trial is known as TRANSLATE (TRANSrectal biopsy versus Local Anaesthetic Transperineal biopsy in Evaluation).

Transperineal biopsies involve inserting a needle through the perineum, the skin behind the testicles. It is a newer technique – traditionally medics reach the prostrate by going through the skin of the rectum.

Associate professor Sashi Kommu, a consultant urological surgeon at East Kent Hospitals, is the principal investigator for the trial locally. He is also cancer lead/surgical lead for the regional National Institute of Health Research.

He said: “Prostate cancer is a leading cause of death in men and we are continuously looking at ways of improving our care of these patients, including early diagnosis through prostate biopsies.

“We are excited to be a part of this large scale multi-centred trial in conjunction with The Clinical Trials Unit in Oxford and several other centres.

“We have an incredible research team at East Kent Hospitals with research trials nurses Jenny Hansen and Gemma Hector who are helping to deliver this trial.”

Co-principal investigator Adrian Simoes, also a consultant urologist at the Trust, said: “This is one of many clinical trials undertaken by the unit and I am very proud to be a part of this trial which will give an indication of the best biopsy strategy to diagnose prostate cancer.”

Consultant urological surgeon Mr Edward Streeter added: “East Kent Hospitals has been at the forefront of developments in the treatment of prostate problems over many years.

“With this trial, one of several we have been involved in, we will continue to improve the care we can offer men in the region at risk from prostate cancer."

Advanced surgical care practitioner Curtis Phelan conducted the first biopsy as part of the trial and said he was delighted to be involved.

The unit at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital is recognised nationally as a high-volume centre for prostate cancer management, offering leading-edge and personalised treatment including procedures using the da Vinci surgical robot.