A local cancer patient has become the first person in Australia to be treated with a new radiation therapy technology at Icon Group’s Radiation Oncology Centre located at Gold Coast Private Hospital.
Icon is the first in the nation to offer Varian’s HyperArc™, a new advanced cancer treatment technology providing a true end-to-end solution for multiple brain tumours. The HyperArc technology utilises the features of the Varian TrueBeam linear accelerator to accurately deliver precise radiation therapy and enables a patient’s cancer treatment to be delivered with greater efficiency, accuracy and comfort.
HyperArc enables clinicians to treat multiple tumours with high-doses of radiation therapy precisely pinpointing the tumours in various locations in the brain – all with a full automated system. It enables multiple tumours to be treated while ensuring limited doses to surrounding healthy brain tissue. Some systems require multiple setup points and the need for treatments to stop and start, meaning patients are on the treatment bed for longer. HyperArc is able to deliver treatment to multiple tumours quicker in one automated setup point, meaning patients are on the bed for shorter periods of time, with treatment lasting only a few minutes, and the process is completed in the safest way possible with one single process from start to finish.
Local patient, 49-year-old, single mother, Philippa Douglas went to her doctor thinking she had asthma. After a chest x-ray and CT scan she was told she had cancer in her lung, liver and lymph nodes. Within 24 hours she had an operation and overnight suffered from a bad headache. A CT and PET scan found eight tumours in her brain.
“I’ve been surprisingly positive throughout what has been a pretty awful few weeks. I was excited and very honoured to be taking part in a new kind of cutting-edge treatment. I came in not knowing what to expect and was surprised to find it was all over in 10 minutes. There was no pain whatsoever, and I had no pain afterwards. This new technology is simply incredible,” Ms Douglas said. “The thing that gave me peace of mind was the precision of the treatment. Knowing I was being treated with the latest technology and that the radiation was targeting my tumours with millimetre accuracy gives me hope.”
Icon Group CEO of Cancer Services, Australia, Ann Maguire, said the company invests in the latest technology and cancer techniques for the benefit of patients and their families.
“Today is an exciting milestone. The Varian HyperArc™ technology places Gold Coast at the forefront of exceptional cancer care, both in Australia and in the world. With more than 3,600 new cancer diagnoses each year on the Gold Coast alone, providing the latest technology is vital to give people the best possible treatment outcomes, and ensure they receive this care as close to home as possible,” Ms Maguire said.
Varian Australasia Managing Director, Chris Cowley, said it remains Varian’s focus to bring advanced technology to cancer patients in all communities.
“We are proud to bring this advanced technology to Australia. By partnering with leading companies like Icon Group to deliver advanced cancer treatments to more patients, we are taking another important step in achieving our vision of a world without fear of cancer,” Mr Cowley said.
The Gold Coast centre is led by some of the nation’s leading cancer specialists and since opening earlier last year, has been able to provide the local community with the latest in radiation therapy treatments.The centre includes a Varian TrueBeam linear accelerator with the capacity to deliver 9,000 treatments per year.
The Varian HyperArc technology has also been launched at one of ROC’s Brisbane locations in Greenslopes.