We were the first UK hospital to introduce Papillon treatment, a groundbreaking form of contact radiotherapy for rectal cancer. 

Our annual Papillon training course is now world renowned. 

Papillon technique

The Papillon technique is a ground breaking type of contact radiotherapy for the treatment of rectal cancer, especially early stage rectal cancers.

It means surgery can be avoided which is especially important for patients who are not suitable or keen on extirpative surgery. For patients who are suitable for Papillon treatment, their subsequent quality of life is much better as they will not need a stoma bag.

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre was the first UK centre to introduce Papillon contact radiotherapy in 1993. Since then, we have been at the forefront of the development of the treatment, and are a leading centre for the training of clinicians internationally.

How does the Papillon technique work?

Contact radiotherapy (low-energy x-ray treatment) is recommended for patients who are not fit enough for general anaesthesia, or who do not want major surgery and a stoma.
If the cancer is small (less than three centimetres) with no evidence of lymph node spread, then local contact radiotherapy using the Papillon treatment can be considered as an alternative treatment option.

Papillon teaching course 

The first Papillon teaching course took place at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in 2011 and the course runs at least once a year. The course is jointly run by The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and Ariane Medical Systems.

The course involves two days of teaching. The programme covers the management of early rectal cancers, experiences of other centres using the Papillon technique, operational and practical considerations including clinical workflows, treatment processes and quality assurance.  

There are also case reviews, question and answer sessions and practical teaching sessions where the technique is demonstrated to the delegates.

  • Course audience – Clinicians, radiographers, physicists, nurses, managers
  • Course language – English
  • Course directors – Professor Arthur Sun Myint  and Professor Jean Pierre Gerard

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, delegates are able to:

  1. Describe and discuss the role and use of the Papillon technique for the management of early rectal cancers
  2. Recognise the different experiences of centres using the technique
  3. Identify the operational and practical considerations of the Papillon technique

Example of course programme

Speakers are invited by the course director and bring their own slides covering:

Management of early rectal cancers

  • Indications for contact RT
  • Management of rectal polyps
  • TEMs
  • Histology
  • Imaging 
  • Trials and evidence base

Experiences of centres using the technique

  • The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre
  • Hull
  • Lyon-Nice 

Operational and practical considerations

  • Clinical workflows
  • Treatment processes
  • Quality Assurance and commissioning

Q&A sessions 

  • Clinical case review

Practical sessions

Session 1 – Live practical session of Papillon treatment in theatre

  • Attend the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool theatre to observe in real time the treatment technique and associated processes. This provides an overview of the clinical workflow, the use of the equipment, and demonstrates the practical considerations of the treatment technique.
    (Note: Places are limited to 2 visitors per patient. Delegates need to request a place.)

Session 2 – Live stream to live practical session of Papillon treatment, followed by theatre visit

  • Attend the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool site and observe the treatment technique and associated processes in real time via a live video link. This provides an overview of the clinical workflow, the use of the equipment, and demonstrates the practical considerations of the treatment technique. 
  • Followed by a visit to the theatre with the clinical team to understand the environment, equipment and working practices without patients present. This provides an opportunity for delegates to observe the equipment functionality, modes of operation, quality assurance considerations and other practical considerations.

Papillon course dates

Our next Papillon training courses are:

  • Wednesday 27th March to Thursday 28th March 2024
  • October 2024 – dates to be confirmed  

Further information

Contact our Papillon coordinators for further information and booking enquiries:

Email the Papillon course team

Contact Ariane Medical Systems

Email Mark Davies at Ariane
Email Leah Clarke at Ariane