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Dr. Katherine Sisson


Norwich Research Park


Bandsaw, equipment grant from Big C to Dr. Katherine Sisson 2013 

What happened

Bandsaw. Equipment Grant 13-14C
Dr. Katherine Sisson.

I went to visit Dr. Katherine Sisson at the Cotman Centre in the grounds of the Norwich Research Park. In 2013, Big C awarded Consultant Histopathologist Katherine, the £20,833 grant to buy a special bandsaw to help with the process of giving a prognosis and deciding on a treatment plan of any cancers that grow around bone.
Dr. Sisson enthusiastically explained how this bandsaw has cut the turnaround time of their work in half. 
“We receive specimens from tumours removed from patients who have cancer around the bone, often the jaw area. This machine can take much thinner, more accurate specimens. There then used to be a long process of having to put the whole specimen in a solution to remove calcium from the bone – this used to take 4-6 weeks. Calcified bone can’t be cut. Now the process only takes 2-3 weeks as we can cut the specimen soon after it’s removed which allows the decalcification process to be reduced.”
Previously, taking 4-6 weeks to get the specimen to the oncologist or radiologist meant that there were delays in treatment planning. The earlier the treatment starts the more likely it is to have a better prognosis and a higher chance of survival. Katherine says,
“Ideally, treatment would start within a 6 week window after the tumour has been removed. Now this is possible with this piece of equipment.”

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