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  • Case Studies

    Our patients’ stories, in their own words

  • Case Studies

    Our patients’ stories, in their own words

Mary's Story

Delivering a truly multi-disciplinary approach to brain tumour surgery

44 year old Mary is battling with lung cancer, however several years ago, her cancer had metastasised, forming a tumour in a critical part of her brain.

Mary is currently battling with lung cancer, receiving care and treatment from The Harley Street Clinic. Several years ago, during a routine CT scan, one of Mary’s worst fears became a reality: her radiologist noticed an unusual formation. Mary’s lung cancer had metastasised, forming a tumour in a critical part of her brain.

Since the brain tumour sat in such a sensitive area, any surgery to remove it carried a high risk of causing complications such as stroke. As with all similar cases at HCA, a multidisciplinary team was promptly convened to discuss Mary’s case. Importantly, the team included neurosurgeons, thoracic surgeons and oncologists with a special interest in brain tumours and lung cancer.

The team discussed the best course of treatment for Mary, and outlined a complex treatment plan that went well beyond surgery, all the way through to follow-up care. For the surgical procedure, the team decided upon a Gliolan resection of the tumour. Gliolan is an innovative new drug which helps surgeons to identify brain tumour cells. Prior to her surgery Mary would drink a Gliolan solution, this would make her tumour cells glow under a special light during the procedure. HCA is the only private provider to offer this innovation, which would help to improve the accuracy of Mary’s surgery. Due to its complexity, the team also decided the operation would require two consultant neurosurgeons to be present. This is an option that may not have been available to Mary had she been treated at a clinic with lower volumes and fewer practitioners.

Following her procedure, Mary’s follow-up plan included regular treatment with HCA’s CyberKnife, the industry-leading technology for delivering stereotactic radiotherapy.

Prior to embarking upon her treatment, Mary went to see her oncologist to discuss her treatment plan. Though she arrived with an understandably heavy heart and a high anxiety level, Mary was reassured to find that the lead surgeon for the forthcoming operation had also dropped in to meet her, since he was working just over the road at The Harley Street Clinic. Together, the oncologist and the neurosurgeon explained the full detail of Mary’s treatment plan, and the surgeon was able to gain Mary’s confidence and trust. At this hugely stressful and upsetting time, knowing that she would be in safe hands was a great relief for Mary and helped make the preparations for surgery far less traumatic.

Mary’s operation was a huge success: using the Gliolan technique, the tumour was completely removed, and she was at home two days later. Following surgery Mary had regular 3-monthly follow ups, covered by her medical insurance. In addition, her case is assessed by 3 other specialists at an MDT each time she visits. HCA provides this service purely to ensure the highest quality treatment is given, at no further cost to the insurer.

HCA is proud to say that patients like Mary have gone on to experience no relapse or neurological deterioration in the years after treatment, and HCA is committed to continuing to provide the care necessary to keep things that way.

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