Cancer Patients in Western Australia to benefit from Varian's state-of-the-art radiotherapy treatment

28 August 2006

Perth, Western Australia. Cancer patients in Western Australia will receive state-of-the-art radiotherapy treatments using equipment from Varian Medical Systems with the opening of a new cancer centre in Perth. Stereotactic radiosurgery for pancreatic cancer patients and an advanced program of IMRT (intensity modulated radiotherapy) are among the new treatments being introduced at the new Sir Charles Gairdner Centre.

The new facility, the only public radiotherapy department in Western Australia, serving 2.1 million people in an area the size of Europe, has been equipped with two Varian Clinac iX linear accelerators and a Trilogy machine. The new radiotherapy department is the first phase of a new multi-disciplinary cancer centre close to the original hospital, which was established in 1961.

Two of the new accelerators will add extra capacity for additional patients while the third will replace one of their existing three treatment machines, giving them five in total. She said that

The new devices will enable the hospital to increase the treatment options for patients, with intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) programs planned for later this year, as well as an escalation of the existing stereotactic program to encompass pancreatic cancers.

The investment has come in response to the Baume Report of 2002 which highlighted the desperate need for additional treatment capacity in Western Australia.

“Our Varian machines were doing ten-hour days up to about eight months ago but waiting lists were growing and some patients were waiting up to seven months for treatment,” said Rhonda Coleman, head of radiation therapy. “We stepped that up to 13-hour days and brought waiting times down to three months. With this new equipment, we hope to have eliminated waiting lists by Christmas.

“We selected Varian for this project for reasons of reliability, connectivity and support. We need full connectivity throughout the network, particularly as we have doctors going to outreach clinics who need to be able to get hold of data. Also, reliability is crucial and Varian machines just keep on working for a long time.

“We’re a busy centre and this new state-of-the-art equipment will enable us to offer our patients the most modern and efficient radiotherapy treatments without increasing the amount of time it takes to treat people,” she added.

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