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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Deputy Premier and Minister for Health
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    AUSTRALIA’S FIRST HELICAL TOMOTHERAPY CANCER TREATMENT COMES TO RBWH

    Deputy Premier and Minister for Health
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    AUSTRALIA’S FIRST HELICAL TOMOTHERAPY CANCER TREATMENT COMES TO RBWH

    The Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) is elevating cancer treatment to a new level of sophistication.

    Deputy Premier and Minister for Health Paul Lucas said Australia’s first radiotherapeutic CT machine was now in operation for the treatment of cancer.

    The $4.1 million system uses advanced guidance mechanisms to target tumours more efficiently and deliver a more effective radiation treatment to patients throughout Queensland.

    “Here in Australia we now have one of the longest life expectancies on earth, but as we live longer we are also seeing more people diagnosed with cancer,” Mr Lucas said.

    “We know the number of new cancers diagnosed increased by 25 per cent between 1994 and 2004, and new diagnoses will continue to increase each year.

    The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s (AIHW) Cancer Survival and Prevalence Reports indicate more than half of all cancers diagnosed in Australia today are successfully treated. That’s a 20 per cent increase from twenty years ago.

    “It is essential we continue to invest in world-class cancer services and technologies for Queenslanders.

    “This new system will allow radiation treatment to be controlled with a degree of accuracy never before seen in Australia.

    “It will enable us to target the tumour and spare normal tissues.

    “The new system will be used largely to target head and neck cancers, as well as areas with complicated and deep tumours.

    “While the overall incidence and mortality rates associated with head and neck cancer is declining, it is estimated that this year alone there will be 2062 new cases of head and neck cancer in Australia.

    “The great news is that equipment such as this will allow us to continue to deliver on improved health outcomes for people with cancer.

    “This system underlines our commitment to providing the best care to our patients from across the State,” he said.

    The system, purchased from USA based TomoTherapy Inc, can produce daily 3-D CT images of tumours to ensure accurate dosages of target radiation are delivered.

    Patients are placed onto a treatment couch which slowly moves them through a ring in which the radiation beam is housed. The beam rotates around the patient allowing tumours to be targeted from all angles.

    The accuracy of the system will enable more precise treatment of some cancers which were previously difficult to treat through conventional methods.

    This includes some brain tumours and spinal tumours where previously the potential for peripheral damage rendered treatment unviable.

    Ends.

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