Dr Nick Plowman, MA, MD, FRCP, FRCR is Senior Clinical Oncologist to St Bartholomew’s Hospital and The Hospital for Sick Children Great Ormond Street, London. He also undertakes visiting duties at St Mark's Hospital in Harrow, the country's leading specialist hospital for colorectal and intestinal disease, and at Moorfield's Eye Hospital, London.
Dr Plowman graduated from Guy's Hospital Medical School in 1974, having previously gained First Class Honours in both the Medical Sciences Tripos and the Natural Sciences Tripos at Cambridge University. He then completed his thesis at Cambridge University before joining St Bartholomew's Hospital, where he has been Head of Department since 1989.
Nick Plowman is a Harley Street based expert on the use of radiation therapy and chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer, with a special interest in improving cure rates in cancer, whilst reducing the side effects of therapy.
Dr Plowman is available for consultation at his rooms in Harley Street. He is able to offer the latest techniques in the management and treatment of cancer, with a special interest in:
Dr Plowman is recognised as one of London's leading experts in the treatment of prostate cancer, using the most up-to-date techniques:
External beam conformal radiotherapy
Modern computers and radiotherapy machines are used to mould the high dose of radiation to the tumour itself, minimising the risk of damage to the surrounding healthy organs and tissues and reducing any side effects to the bladder and bowel. This treatment is suitable for patients in whom the cancer has not progressed beyond the capsule covering the prostate gland.
Seed implantation brachytherapy
A number of small, radioactive seeds are put into the prostate gland. Over a period of a few months, they deliver a localised high dose of radiation. The surrounding tissues only receive a very low dose, lessening the risk of damage. The seeds have faded away by the end of the treatment time and this therapy offers a low side effect option for the treatment of early prostate cancer.
Lowering the amount of testosterone in the body with medicines can reduce the chance of an early prostate cancer returning or can shrink or slow the growth of an advanced tumour that has spread beyond the capsule of the prostate. Treatment is dependent on the precise grade and stage of the cancer and Dr Plowman is able to offer experienced advice.
As well using the most modern standard radiotherapy machines, Dr Plowman is at the forefront of this new technology that uses a single targeted dose of radiation to treat tumours that were not otherwise killed by standard radiation therapy or were situated in dangerous positions. The treatment is delivered using specially designed linear accelerator machines:
This is a safe, accurate and reliable state-of-the-art machine that targets the affected cancer site only. There is no open surgery and the patient can be discharged within 24 hours. Because of its accuracy, the Gamma Knife is used for the treatment of tumours near the brain stem and optic nerve.
This machine has a robotic arm that can deliver targeted high-dose radiation to tumours anywhere in the body, even parts that are moving such as the lung. Damage to the surrounding tissues is minimised and CyberKnife offers painless treatment for some tumours that were previously considered to be inoperable or untreatable.
Dr Plowman's clinical interests include the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, brain tumours, endocrine cancer, urological cancer; cancers in children & young persons (chemotherapy & radiotherapy) and the use of stereotactic radiotherapy (CyberKnife And GammaKnife).
Dr Plowman's special interests are directed towards improving cure rates in cancer, whilst reducing the side effects of therapy. He is an expert on both radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
In medical oncology, his main contribution has been the demonstration of the importance of adrenal sex steroid production in both breast and prostate cancer and he pioneered therapies aimed at interrupting these pathways in both diseases that have now become standard treatment across the world.
Reducing the toxicity of drug/chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer treatment.
Key Published Papers