New radiation therapy service to give patients better access, more choice to cancer care

Icon Writers / 25 Jan, 2024

Cancer patients undergoing treatment on Brisbane’s inner northside will benefit from a new multi-million-dollar on-site radiation therapy service announced today by St Vincent’s Private Hospital Northside and Icon Cancer Centre (Icon).

The new service, to be located on-site at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Northside, will provide a fully integrated end-to-end cancer service for patients in the inner north of Brisbane, eliminating the need for patients to travel away from the hospital campus for radiation therapy.

Featuring an experienced and highly regarded team of radiation oncologists, radiation therapists, nurses and support staff, the centre will deliver first-class care using the latest in radiation therapy technology and techniques.

World-class care, closer to home

St Vincent’s Private Hospital Northside CEO Oli Steele said the new service would enable better access for cancer patients, providing them with the choice to have all their treatment from surgery to chemotherapy and radiation on the hospital campus.

“Increasingly for cancer patients, it’s not just one modality of treatment – like surgery, chemotherapy or radiation. It’s usually a combination of therapies,” said Mr Steele.

“Around 50% of all patients diagnosed with cancer require radiation oncology treatment and to date, those needing that treatment haven’t been able to be treated here at St Vincent’s Northside.

“At St Vincent’s, our patients always come first. We’re delighted to partner with Icon Cancer Centre who have exceptional credentials in designing and building world-class radiation oncology centres and delivering exceptional cancer care.

“This announcement takes us one big step closer to providing the highest level of integrated and holistic care for vulnerable cancer patients and their families.”

L-R: Dr Michelle Grogan, Nadine Gowen, Mark Middleton, Oli Steele, Dr Rick Abraham, Ross Koscharsky, A/Prof Jim Jackson and Dr Minjae Lah.

Proven technology

Icon Group CEO, Mark Middleton said his team would partner with St Vincent’s to provide the latest in radiation therapy treatment including Varian’s HyperArc – the latest treatment for advanced brain cancer and IDENTIFY technology – Surface Guided Radiation Therapy (SGRT), tattoo-free advanced radiation therapy.

“The centre will be equipped with a Varian TrueBeam linear accelerator, the latest in radiation therapy technology with the capacity to deliver 18,000 radiation therapy treatments annually, including the latest techniques for a wide range of cancers for Brisbane’s inner north,” Mr Middleton said.

“We’re proud to be able to bring world-class cancer care to more communities, ensuring people have access to life-saving treatment closer to home.”

Patient focused, clinical collaboration

Dr Rick Abraham, a medical oncologist at St Vincents Northside and Icon, said establishing an on-site radiation facility is a vital part vital part of providing better choice and access for patients.

“Many patients going through chemotherapy are quite unwell and with patients that also require radiation treatment it’s extremely beneficial to provide on-site, integrated cancer care,” said Dr Abraham.

“We can now offer something that’s special through this partnership with a great multidisciplinary team, great facilities and strong collaboration. I’m confident we can build a service that’s going to make a difference for Brisbane’s inner northside.”

Radiation therapy is a highly targeted, safe, and effective treatment used to treat a wide range of cancers including but not limited to breast, prostate, skin, lung, and brain and is often used in combination with other treatments, like chemotherapy. Radiation therapy treatment is usually given in daily intervals over several weeks with every course unique to each patient’s condition.

Subject to regulatory approvals, the new radiation therapy service is expected to be up and running at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Northside by late 2024.

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