World leading UK lung cancer surgeon presents at Arab Health 2018


Lung cancer is a rising global problem and is the most common form of cancer among Emirati males. A recent study ‘Lung Cancer Incidence in the Arab League Countries’ written by academics at the Tanta University in Egypt, reveals that 30,000 people a year will have lung cancer diagnosed in the Middle East by 2020. The report estimates that there will be 29,576 new cases in 2020, up from 16,596 in 2008.

This year, world leading Consultant Thoracic Surgeon Ms Emma Beddow, has been asked to present at the Arab Health congress to highlight how she is pushing boundaries to find cures for patients. Practising at the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Specialist Care - the UK’s largest specialist heart and lung centre - Ms Beddow specialises in treating complex patients who have been turned down for surgery elsewhere.

Ms Beddow has special expertise in lung cancer surgery, major airway surgery and stenting, mediastinal tumours, metastatectomy, benign and malignant pleural disease and pectus surgery. She attends global conferences to share the latest expertise on thoracic conditions and present scientific papers.

“Many of the people we treat have cancers that involve the chest wall and sternum, cancer infiltrating the outer layer of the oesophagus, and those with PET-positive mediastinal lymph nodes and limited disease outside the chest,” explains Ms Beddow.

“All these patients were offered palliative treatment at their local hospital and sought a second opinion. Working with the lung cancer multi-disciplinary team all these patients were all kept alive and well for at least 30 months after their treatment which consisted of a combination of surgery and oncological input.”

Large tumours requiring complex surgical reconstruction of the remaining airways are also referred to the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals team for treatment. Surgery involves removing one or more lobes of the diseased lung along with, if necessary, parts of the rib cage and large blood vessels. In all cases, a complete mediastinal lymph node clearance is undertaken. This most accurately stages the extent of disease and limits further spread of tumour cells outside the lung, therefore improving prognosis. With the advent of new immunotherapy drugs for lung cancer, more people are being offered a chance of life-saving treatment.

Ms Beddow added: “Our lung cancer team works very closely with our specialist oncology colleagues to ensure we explore every option when planning treatment, to enable us to achieve the best outcome for all patients. Each case of lung cancer is discussed at our specialist lung cancer MDT and we agree the optimal management plan for that case.”

Ms Beddow explains that in recent years there has been a shift towards offering patients video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) lobectomy. The keyhole surgery uses smaller incisions with no rib spreading. VATS lobectomy allows the surgeon to reduce the length of the incision than previously done in a traditional lobectomy. During the surgery lobes of the diseased lungs and lymph node clearance are removed. This combined with oncological input for drug treatment, patients are given a chance of life-saving treatment.

In general, the lymph nodes tend to be completely removed with an open thoracotomy. With the VATS approach, this is not the case. An American study demonstrated that in a small number of patients, lymph node tissue containing cancer cells was left inside the patient. These patients would not typically be offered any chemotherapy post-surgery as they would have been thought to be clear. This would put them at risk of developing further complications and illness from the remaining cancerous tissue.

  1. Harefield Hospital, we mitigate this by offering VATS surgery only to the earliest tumours,” added Ms Beddow. “Cancer treatment at Harefield Hospital still offers surgery to patients when their disease has spread outside the chest. If there is limited spread of disease to lymph nodes, they may be offered a combined approach of chemotherapy and surgery. In potentially curable cancer, surgery offers patients the best chance while non-surgical options such as SABR and conventional radiotherapy give around half the survival rates compared to surgery.”

The Royal Brompton has a strong and long-established relationship with the gulf region working closely with a number of health authorities including the Dubai Health Authority, Hamad Medical Cooperation and The Ministry of Health.

The Trust also operates a visiting doctor programme with a number of key hospitals across the Middle East region in order to help better clinical outcomes and strengthen their relationships with the region’s health providers.

“The programmes and collaborations in place between The Royal Brompton and hospitals in the Middle Eastern region aim to not only ensure patients receive the best care here in the UK but the continuation of care is transferred back in country. It is fundamental to share our knowledge in order for patients to receive excellent care wherever they are,” said Ms Beddow.

  1. Specialist Care is the private arm of Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. RB&HH is known throughout the world for its expertise, standard of care, and research success and has great appeal to the Middle Eastern market. Approximately 1/3 of patients come from overseas due to a lack of effective or up-to-date treatment available in their own country. A small proportion of these patients are high profile VIPs such as corporate leaders and royalty. Additionally, Ms Beddow also has a strong appeal to Middle Eastern women who prefer a female surgeon in the event they needed lung cancer or thoracic treatment.

RB&HH has a state-of-the-art private Outpatients and Diagnostics facility located within the prestigious Harley Street Medical Area, London. This is an area which has been famed for its medical excellence in treating complex and life threatening conditions for over 200 years. Behind its Georgian facade lays the latest in cutting edge medical technology and it is proud to offer unique and complex surgeries by renowned surgeons. The Harley Street Medical Area maintains a reputation for offering the very highest standards of medical care and expertise and is notable for the sheer variety and excellence of services on offer in such an attractive and accessible setting.

Ms Beddow will be performing a live VATS Lobectomy surgical simulation presentation at Arab Health on Wednesday 31st January 2018 from 2pm in the UK Pavilion, Hall 7 at the ABHI stand (H7C30), Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

You can also speak to Ms Beddow at the Harley Street Medical Area stand (stand number stand number H7E30), also located in the UK Pavilion, hall 7.

On Thursday 1st February 2018, Ms Beddow will present two updates on lung cancer at the Arab Health Congress from 10.45am onwards.