New machine offers advanced treatment
WHAT may be inappropriate music outside is appropriate when cancer patients get on the new $3 million Varian Truebeam radiation therapy machine at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Nedlands.
“One feature it has, which the old machine didn’t, is it has an ipod dock and patients can bring their own music,” senior radiologist Catherine Hubie said.
The Truebeam machine is the first of a pair each treating up to 45 patients a day after it was commissioned last week,
The machines will complement five older linear accelerators at the hospital’s Comprehensive Cancer Centre.
Currently, the Truebeam is only being used for breast cancers and some sarcomas until its twin is also commissioned, after which the machines will treat all cancers.
Its benefits are already being experienced by patients, and its operators who had to travel to Nevada in the United States to be trained in its use earlier this year.
“It has advanced features, including the imaging being slightly better, and it can deliver a greater radiation dose in its beam,” Ms Hubie said.
Patients’ appointments comprising putting on gowns, X-rays, checks and actual treatments lasting a few seconds can now last less than 15 minutes.
Senior radiation therapists Catherine Hubie and Helen Lloyd with a patient using the new cancer scanner.