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New technique to target brain cancer

Monday, 04 May 2020

New technique to target brain cancer

A CUTTING-edge radiation surgery technique is now available at Barwon Health’s Andrew Love Cancer Centre, pinpointing tumours to submillimetre precision. 

Until recently, the cranial stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) was not available in Geelong and patients with small metastatic brain tumours had to choose between surgery or travelling to Melbourne for their radiotherapy.

Radiation Therapy operations manager Shane Brasier said the treatment was performed using a state-of-the art TrueBeam linear accelerator and expert staff had been trained to target and destroy a tumour with submillimetre precision.

“This treatment can focus on multiple small brain lesions without impacting healthy brain tissue,” he said.

Mr Brasier said SRT was an important alternative to invasive surgery, especially for patients who are unable to undergo surgery, and for tumours that are hard to resect, or located close to vital anatomic regions.

The introduction of cranial SRT has been led by Radiation Oncologist Dr Andrew Hui in collaboration with other radiation oncologists, radiation therapists and medical physicists at ALCC.

Suitable candidates for SRT are able to have their treatment as an outpatient and the treatment can be delivered in three treatment sessions, far fewer than previous treatment options.

Cancer Services director Associate Professor Philip Campbell estimated about 30 patients a year would benefit from the procedure.

“Because it’s right here in Geelong, the difference it will make to the local community is significant,” A/Prof Campbell said.

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