A CROFT dad who has been diagnosed with three separate cancers within three years is to become the first patient to be treated at The Christie using a revolutionary radiotherapy machine.

David Hutson, 60, will be treated for prostate cancer using the MR-guided linear accelerator (MR-linac) which is the first machine of its kind to do real-time MRI scans while targetting x-ray radiation beams at tumours, making it more accurate and reducing side effects.

Being able to more specifically target tumours and not healthy tissue around them means the machine can use stronger x-rays. The £5.3million machine was part-funded by donations to The Christie charity.

Since the opening of the UK’s first NHS high energy proton beam centre in December, The Christie is now one of only two sites worldwide to offer both these pioneering radiotherapy treatments.

David was diagnosed with prostate cancer in September having already just been diagnosed with skin cancer in 2017 and treated for throat cancer in May 2016.

David who lives with his wife Valerie and is dad to twin sons Matthew and Thomas, both 28, said: “I’m really excited to be the first patient to be treated with the MR-linac at The Christie.

“I’d researched prostate cancer treatment a lot and heard about this machine.

"So I wrote to Professor Choudhury at The Christie personally to request that I be considered for first treatment.

"I have had a very difficult time with cancer and I believe the treatment will give me a better quality of life and minimal side-effects in comparison to other treatments.

"It’s nice to know that my treatment will help research treatments for cancer patients in the future.”

Dr Cynthia Eccles, consultant research radiographer at The Christie, said: “This is a significant moment in radiotherapy treatment here at The Christie.

"Around 40 per cent of people being treated for cancer receive a form of radiotherapy and The Christie accounts for around one in 20 NHS treatments in the UK.

“In order to fully unlock the potential of radiotherapy by making it even more precise we need to be at the forefront of technology and this machine allows us to target cancer and avoid healthy tissue while delivering the radiation treatment.”

Professor Ananya Choudhury, clinical project lead for MR-linac who is overseeing David’s treatment, said: “Prostate cancer responds most effectively to large doses of radiation delivered over a short period of time.

“However, because the prostate lies close to some very sensitive areas, high doses risk damaging the tissue surrounding it and increase the risk of side-effects.

“With the MR-linac we can better target the prostate while avoiding these areas, so we can safely deliver higher doses of radiation.”