Last week two multi-million dollar machines were installed to provide timely access to much needed radiotherapy treatment for people of the Hunter.
Two Elekta Infinity linear accelerators with advanced Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT) were installed at Genesis Cancer Care's state-of-the-art centre at Lake Macquarie Private Hospital.
External beam radiotherapy is a widely used cancer treatment and uses a machine called a Linear Accelerator (Linac) to produce high-energy X-rays, which are directed at the tumour.
It is estimated that 500 patients will use the two linear accelerators every year, with up to 100 cancer out-patients being treated every day, with no waiting lists.
Genesis Cancer Care's new facility will enhance and expand existing medical and surgical oncology services in the Newcastle and the Hunter region.
“In every aspect of its design and offering, the site at Gateshead is built around meeting patients' needs and providing immediate outpatient access to specialist radiation oncologists and diagnostic tests,” said Genesis Cancer Care Newcastle's Dr Anne Capp.
“The consulting facilities and our staff will enable us to provide timely access to consultation and treatment for all patients.”
As well as the two linear accelerators, the Newcastle service will include an onsite CT scanner.
Genesis Cancer Care will also launch the first local Low Dose Rate Prostate Brachytherapy service in the region.
The facility is due open in early 2014.
Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy is Elekta's next generation arc therapy. Single or multiple radiation beams sweep in uninterrupted arc(s) around the patient, dramatically speeding treatment delivery. Three-dimensional volume imaging technology integrated into Elekta treatment systems increases the precision of Elekta VMAT by enabling Doctors to visualise the tumour target at the time of treatment and to guide therapy that both maximizes the radiation dose to the target and minimizes exposure to surrounding healthy tissues.