Cancer patients benefit from advanced radiation treatment
St George’s Cancer Care is leading the way in cancer treatment technology with its stereotactic radiation therapy, and thanks to the St George’s Cancer Institute (a charitable trust established to raise funds for the Centre and related cancer support services), patients are able to receive this treatment.
Cantabrian Graham Nicoll is one of 16 patients so far to benefit from St George’s Cancer Care’s stereotactic radiation therapy in his fight again cancer. Stereotactic radiation therapy is an extremely specialised, highly precise form of radiation therapy that can be used to treat lung and brain tumours. Graham is very grateful for the charitable treatment the Centre is offering. “I discovered I had lung cancer in 2015, and nine months ago it spread to my brain. St George’s is the best hospital I’ve been to – the level of treatment and care I’ve received has been terrific,” says Graham.
Radiation Oncologist Dr Brendon Anderson says, “We administer stereotactic radiation using the Elekta Synergy™ with BodyFIX™ system linear accelerator. It’s the most accurate and non-invasive way to target tumours in a small area. It allows us to focus on tumours without damaging the surrounding healthy tissue.”
“This advanced type of radiation means that patients with cancer metastatic to the brain experience hardly any hair loss, need fewer treatment sessions and are less likely to suffer side effects such as cognitive decline. Stereotactic radiation therapy, in conjunction with other treatments, helps us to offer better outcomes to patients.”
Since December 2017, six public health patients have undergone this treatment free of charge thanks to the charitable work of the St George’s Cancer Institute, St George’s Hospital and St George’s Cancer Care. The treatment is very complex and is currently available to patients in Christchurch through the CDHB. The next phase of the stereotactic programme will include the introduction of spinal stereotactic treatments later this year.