A Coventry company is helping cancer patients overcome the pain brought on as a side-effect of chemotherapy after the launch of a new treatment system.
Hilotherm, based at the University of Warwick Science Park’s Venture Centre, sells high-tech, cooling technology to both the NHS and private healthcare providers including a wide-range of post-operation products.
The range of equipment has been developed in Germany by Hilotherm’s parent company and is available to patients across the UK.
Now, the firm, which has been based at the University of Warwick Science Park for eight years and grew by 65 per cent in 2022, has launched a new Hilotherm ChemoCare system that prevents pain brought on in the hands and feet by chemotherapy.
The pain can sometimes be so severe that chemotherapy treatment has to be stopped but by applying the cooling for 30 minutes before the treatment and 30-60 minutes after, it dramatically reduces the side-effects.
The treatment is applied at between 15 and 17 degrees Celsius and sees patients don ‘gloves’ and ‘boots’ through which the cooling treatment is administered. It is easier to withstand than ice and has proven results over extensive trial periods in Germany, Belgium, France and Austria.
The first patients in the UK are benefitting from the system at GenesisCare centres in Bristol, Oxford, Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Windsor and Maidstone.
Kat Stein, a director of Hilotherm, believes it is only a matter of time before it is rolled out further.
She said: “This is a major development for patients undergoing chemotherapy. At times, the pain in the hands and feet can be excruciating, so much so that it can see treatment plans altered and, worse still, stopped altogether.
“This technology is a game-changer and the results that have been seen in tests in mainland Europe are very positive. One study showed that 93 per cent of patients did not suffer moderate or severe symptoms of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.
“We are delighted that we have been able to bring the technology to the UK and that it’s already being utilised.
“However, there is clearly huge potential for growth and we expect to see it rolled out across the country in the coming months and years.
“It’s been a very busy period for us because of the increase in operations after the height of the Covid-19 crisis and the University of Warwick Science Park has proved to be the ideal location for us to facilitate that growth.”
Mark Tock, Chief Operations Officer at the University of Warwick Science Park, said: “We are so pleased to have companies such as Hilotherm here at the Science Park. It is doing incredible work and is, genuinely, changing people’s lives.
“The company has strong potential for further growth and they know that they have the support of the team here at the Science Park as they continue to expand.”