Blacktown Hospital offers new cancer treatment

30 Mar 2017

Blacktown Hospital has treated its first cancer patients with targeted-precision radiotherapy, courtesy of two new machines installed in the cancer centre.

Lung cancer patient Robert Moore was one of the first people to receive the new treatment.

Robert Moore 

"The fact I only had to go in for five days of treatment, rather than seven weeks, was fantastic," the 70-year-old from Granville said.

"I was straight in, straight out for treatment - it only took about 20 to 30 minutes, so it's a great model.

“Knowing after the first of day of treatment that I only had four days to go was a huge relief."

The hospital’s cancer and haematology centre has started using stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) to target tumours in cancer patients.

The treatment, which is commonly used on tumours in the chest, abdomen and pelvis, uses advanced imaging and special immobilisation equipment to directly target small tumours.

Blacktown Hospital cancer and haematology centre manager Leanne Watson said the treatment was a win for cancer patients as it drastically reduced the time needed for radiation.

“SBRT allows the radiation oncologist to prescribe very high doses of radiation to the tumour but in a short period of time,” she said.

“So, a tumour that would normally take up to seven weeks to treat, with a patient coming in five days a week, can be treated in just three to five visits over a fortnight.

“SBRT is great because it does mean fewer visits for the patient and extreme accuracy for our staff; they’re able to really target the tumour because of the advanced imaging technology and the specialised stabilisation equipment.”

Blacktown Hospital is the latest facility in the Sydney West Radiation Oncology Network to offer SBRT.

For more information on Blacktown Hospital’s cancer and haematology centre and SBRT, contact 8670 842.