News and Research

Providing a Safe Patient Environment

At Auckland Radiation Oncology, our goal is to provide the best possible care for our patients. We know having radiation therapy treatment is often an emotionally and physically challenging time for our patients and their loved ones.


Medical Physicist - Permanent full time position

We are seeking a suitably qualified senior medical physicist to join a supportive, friendly and enthusiastic team. This is a full-time position and preference will be given to applicants with four or more year’s post-qualified experience. We offer a relocation package for suitably qualified international applicants.



ARO Supports World Cancer Day 2017

Auckland Radiation Oncology (ARO) is proud to support the Annual World Cancer Day on 4 February. The sentiment of this 3 year worldwide campaign “We Can, I Can” aligns with the values of our staff and specialists to ensure access to, and delivery of quality patient care at ARO.



Prostate Cancer Precise Detection and Staging Insight by Dr Benji Benjamin

PSMA is an enzyme found in abundance on the cell surface of prostate cancer cells. Until recently patients newly diagnosed with high risk prostate cancer or patients where the prostate cancer has returned or metastasised would generally undergo a range of scans such as CT, bone and MRI to detect and stage prostate cancer.



Dr. Benjamin Inducted into Hall of Fame

Dr. Benjamin, clinical director Auckland Radiation Oncology (ARO) was inducted into the Kiwi Indian Hall of Fame on 23 June 2016. The award was presented by Rt Hon John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand and recognizes Dr. Benjamin's outstanding contribution to medicine and the community. The Hall of Fame is a platform for acknowledging and celebrating the success of Kiwi-Indians.


Melanoma month: A call to check your skin

It’s melanoma March this month and the Melanoma March National Appeal is kicking off with 'A call to check your skin'. Melanoma New Zealand’s goal is to get Kiwis, who have the highest melanoma rates in the world, to be proactive in looking out for the early signs of this deadly skin cancer. Over 4000 New Zealanders are diagnosed each year with melanoma. Around 300 New Zealanders die of melanoma every year.



ARO Physics Team Attracts Top Talent

ARO has attracted internationally experienced and highly qualified medical phyicists to be part of their Physics Team.

The physics team has a critical role to ensure radiation safety and protection for our patients, staff and the general public. Their responsibilities include, but are not limited to, developing new treatment techniques and commissioning the new technologies to deliver the most effect treatment to deliver the best patient experience. 


New Radiation Oncologist boosts skin and lung radiation capabilities

Dr Arunachalam has recently joined ARO as a Radiation Oncologist Consultant. His specialties include lung, skin, sarcoma, as well as Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy, Non-malignant and Palliative cases. He is an enthusiastic, passionate and caring Radiation Oncologist who works at Auckland City Hospital. 


Next Elekta 4D Advanced IGRT and Clinical Training Course

The next Elekta 4D Advanced IGRT and Clinical Training Course will be hosted and led by Auckland Radiation Oncology on 19th and 20th June 2015. 



Gene may explain why pancreatic cancer is so aggressive

Pancreatic cancer is set to become the second leading cause of cancer death in the US by 2030, but a new study reveals a new molecular target for therapy.



Sitting increases disease risk and exercise may not reduce it

Although it is common knowledge that a sedentary lifestyle brings bad health, the extent to which this may be mediated by regular exercise was less well known, until now...



Dual Screening for Head and Neck and Lung Cancer

Adding head and neck cancer screenings to recommended lung cancer screenings would likely improve early detection and survival, according to a multidisciplinary team led by scientists affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), a partner with UPMC CancerCenter.



Coping with Cancer-Related Weight Changes and Muscle Loss

Along with taking any medicines your doctor prescribes, there are many things you can do to help your body stay strong while undergoing treatment for cancer...



Psychological Stress and Cancer Risk

Stress can play havoc with your health, but emotional and social support can help patients learn to cope with psychological stress. Such support can reduce levels of depression, anxiety, and disease- and treatment-related symptoms among patients. 


Stereotactic body radiation therapy plus chemotherapy improves survival

A clinical trial that combined stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) with a specific chemotherapy regimen more than doubled survival rates for certain patients with stage 4 lung cancer, according to a new report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology 



Aerobic exercise reduces fatigue women undergoing radiotherapy for breast cancer

An aerobic exercise program can reduce fatigue in women undergoing radiotherapy for breast cancer



Less alcohol and plant-based diet can decrease obesity-related cancer risk

Dietary advice on preventing cancer should emphasize the importance of eating a plant-based diet and restricting alcohol consumption.



Breath Hold Technique Beneficial in Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer

Active Breathing Coordinator was well tolerated and significantly reduced Mean Heart Dose while preserving local control



Hair Dyes and Cancer Risk

A new fact sheet from Oncology Nurse Advisor explores the relationship between use of hair coloring products and possible cancer risk.


Modeling and dosimetric performance evaluation of the RayStation treatment planning system

The accuracy of the dose calculation in the treatment planning procedure is strongly influenced by the treatment planning system. The RayStation planning system utilized at ARO has some advanced features to tackle these challenging and complex demands.


Lung Cancer and Radiation Therapy - Updates in Cancer Care Symposium Presentation

Dr Lao presented at the Updates in Cancer Care Symposium on 15th November, held on the Mercy Hospital site.
This presentation covered the use of Stereotactic Ablative Radiation Therapy in the treatment of Lung Cancer.



Prolonged TV watching may lower colorectal cancer survival chances

Minimizing television viewing, to less than two hours per day, and increasing exercise, to four-plus hours per week, were associated with lower mortality risk among colorectal cancer survivors



Even With a Little Weight Gain, Quitting Smoking Is Still A Healthier Choice

A new study finds that even if you do add a few kilos once you quit smoking, your post-cigarette health is still much better than if you'd kept on smoking.



Physical Activity and Cancer Risk

New studies are exploring the role of physical activity in cancer survivorship and quality of life, cancer risk, and the needs of populations at increased risk... Read on to find the links between physical activity and cancer



Exercise boosts tumor-fighting ability of chemotherapy

A new article on Oncology Nurse Advisor suggests that combining exercise with chemotherapy shrunk tumors more than chemotherapy alone


Patterns of Nodal Relapse when treated with SBRT

Incidental Prophylactic Nodal Irradiation and Patterns of Nodal Relapse in Inoperable Early Stage NSCLC Patients Treated With SBRT



Vitamin D and Cancer Prevention

Find out why cancer researchers are studying a possible connection between vitamin D and cancer risk


What it's like to be a Radiation Therapist

Find out what it's like to be a Radiation Therapist with this behind the scenes video from Otago University



ARO selected as Australasian Training Site for Symmetry

Auckland Radiation Oncology selected as Australasian training site for Elekta Advanced Symmetry™4D IGRT Clinical Training Course


Dietary Fibre and Prostate Cancer Risk

Dietary Total and Insoluble Fiber Intakes Are Inversely Associated with Prostate Cancer Risk" according to a new study published in the Journal of Nutrition.


Oligometastasis: a Curative Subset of Metastatic Disease

The concept of oligometastasis has important implications for cancer treatment because patients with limited numbers of metastasis previously thought by some clinicians to be incurable might be cured with local cancer treatments such as radiotherapy or surgery.



Extracranial Oligometastases: A Subset of Metastases Curable With Stereotactic Radiotherapy

SBRT or SABR has demonstrated favorable rates of local control for primary and metastatic tumors and provides a treatment option for deep-seated tumors or for those who cannot undergo surgery.



Robotic image-guided reirradiation of lateral pelvic recurrences

Stereotactic radiotherapy can offer a short and well-tolerated treatment for lateral pelvic recurrences in previously irradiated areas in patients otherwise not treatable.


Stereotactic radiation therapy in early stage NSCLC

Stereotactic body radiation therapy can be an effective treatment for early stage non-small cell lung cancer



The median isn't the message

The Median Isn't the Message by Stephen Jay Gould - an empowering personal story of statistics and cancer.



Yoga boosts quality of life and helps reduce radiation therapy side effects

Yoga improves the quality of life of women undergoing radiotherapy for breast cancer better than the use of simple stretching exercises alone, according to a study published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. It also appears to control patients' cortisol levels, which can lead to better outcomes.


Radiotherapy An Underrated Cancer Tool

In the United Kingdom, a high-level governmental pledge that guaranteed radiotherapy to all cancer patients who needed it has fallen short of expectations, a new report acknowledges.



Gafchromic Film workshop at ARO

Dr DAVID F. LEWIS will be presenting a Radiochromic Film and Dosimetry Workshop at Auckland Radiation Oncology, on 17th March 2014 from 10am - 1pm.



Skin reactions during radiation therapy preventable

Auckland Radiation Oncology has recently participated in research with the University of Otago, with regard to the prevention of severe skin reactions during radiation therapy by applying a thin transparent silicone dressing to the skin from the first day of treatment.


Radiation treatment improves survival for adults with a slow-growing type of brain tumor

Adults with low-grade gliomas, a form of brain tumor, who received chemotherapy following completion of radiation therapy lived longer than patients who received radiation therapy alone, according to long-term follow-up results from a NIH-supported randomized controlled clinical trial. Low-grade gliomas have a more indolent or slower growing behavior and better outcome compared to the more common high-grade gliomas such as glioblastoma



World Cancer Day 2014 - 3 News interview

Talking about the 'C' word - World Cancer Day February 4th 2014




ARO becomes Reference Site for RaySearch

Auckland Radiation Oncology has been designated as the first reference site in the Southern Hemisphere for RaySearch’s RayStation planning system.


Two Regimens for Patients with Non-small Cell Lung Cancer

There are patients with stage I–III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who are not suitable for curative radical chemoradiation therapy. There are patients with an isolated solitary extracranial metastasis who have improved outcomes compared with those with cranial or multiple metastases. Patients of good performance status receiving moderate dose radiation therapy have improved survival. Two regimens of moderate dose chemoradiation therapy for such patients were compared in a randomized phase II trial.



The aim of this pharmaco-epidemiological study was to evaluate the prevalence of oropharyngeal candidiasis (OPC) in cancer patients treated with chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.


An Approach to Prostate Segmentation on MR Images

Prostate segmentation on MR images attracted greater research interest in recent years, with the introduction of conformal radiotherapy (CRT) and intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) for prostate cancer. Accurate delineation of tumor target volume and organs at risk becomes increasingly important in radiotherapy treatment planning. However, it is difficult to perform fully automated segmentation in T2-weighted images because the signal intensity within the prostate is inhomogeneous as it reflects the underlying characteristics of the glandular tissue [1]. The interface between the prostate and the rectum and bladder is not always clear.


Current Role and Future Perspectives of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

Further to the development of three-dimensional (3D) conformal, intensity-modulated, image-guided, adaptive radiation therapy, major changes have occurred in the last three decades in the treatment planning of nonmetastatic prostate cancer. These techniques have significantly improved treatment precision, allowing for greater sparing of critical organ and delivery of escalated doses of radiation to the target volume.


Quality assessment for VMAT prostate radiotherapy

The majority of commercial radiotherapy treatment planning systems requires planners to iteratively adjust the plan parameters in order to find a satisfactory plan. This iterative trial-and-error nature of radiotherapy treatment planning results in an inefficient planning process and in order to reduce such inefficiency, plans can be accepted without achieving the best attainable quality.

We propose a quality assessment method based on data envelopment analysis (DEA) to address this inefficiency. This method compares a plan of interest to a set of past delivered plans and searches for evidence of potential further improvement.


Scintigraphic evaluation of oesophageal transit during radiotherapy

To quantitatively evaluate radiation-induced impaired oesophageal transit with oesophageal transit scintigraphy and to assess the relationships between acute oesophagitis symptoms and dysmotility.



New radiation therapy shows promise in lung cancer

Aiming powerful beams of radiation precisely at tumors helped control their growth and helped people with early stage but inoperable lung cancer live longer


IMRT reduces side effects, also improves outcomes

Study finds more targeted form of radiation improves survival in patients with head and neck cancers




World Cancer Day 2014

World Cancer Day aims to dispel the myths that surround the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.


Quality assessment for VMAT prostate radiotherapy planning based on data envelopment analysis

During the past two decades, radiotherapy treatment techniques have advanced significantly due to the development of dynamic multileaf collimators coupled with commercially available inverse planning systems. This has led to the widespread use of intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) which facilitates improved conformance to the treatment volume while minimizing dose to surrounding avoidance structures... This research paper looks at using data envelopment analysis (DEA) to address potential inefficiencies in planning adjustment.



Alcohol and Cancer Risk

Is it safe for a patient undergoing radiation or chemotherapy to drink alcohol?


Multidisciplinary Lung Metastases Clinic

Research into the value of multidisciplinary discussions with regard to patient care


Combined Modality Therapy for Stage I-II DLBCL

Combined Modality Therapy for Stage I-II Diff use Large B-Cell Lymphoma Provides Excellent Local Control and Clinical Outcome in the Rituximab Era


Pattern of failure in stage I-II Hodgkin Lymphoma patients treated with CMT

Implications of partial nodal region coverage and the need for adjacent uninvolved nodal region coverage


System enables cancer patients to access treatment faster

Hundreds of cancer patients in the Greater Auckland region will be able to start their radiation treatment days sooner thanks to the introduction of an innovative planning system called RayStation® at leading radiation therapy centre, Auckland Radiation Oncology (ARO). 


Radiation-induced vertebral compression fracture following spine stereotactic radiosurgery

Spine stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is increasingly being used to treat metastatic spinal tumors. As the experience matures, high rates of vertebral  compression fracture (VCF) are being observed. 
What is unknown is the mechanism of action; it has been postulated but not confirmed that radiation itself is a contributing factor. This case report describes 2 patients who were treated with spine SRS who subsequently developed signal changes on MRI consistent with tumor progression and VCF.


Percutaneous spine stabilisation prior to stereotactic radiosurgery for high risk spinal metastases

New, or progression of existing, vertebral compression fracture (VCF) post spine- stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for spinal metastases has been reported in the range of 10-39%. Lesion location, radiological appearance, presence of deformity, mechanical pain and percent of vertebral body involvement has reported as potential predictors of VCF. We report our pilot experience and retrospective analysis of patients thought to be at high risk of progressive VCF who were stabilized prophylactically with a percutaneous technique followed by spine SRS.


Broadcaster Angela D’Audney’s cancer treatment wish now a reality

Cancer patients will soon benefit from the first radiotherapy programme of its kind to arrive in New Zealand.

New Zealand’s first private radiation therapy centre, Auckland Radiation Oncology (ARO), is introducing a Stereotactic Radiotherapy programme using 4-D Image Guidance and Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT). 


ARO finishes in top ten in JRA Best Workplaces Awards

ARO is proud to announce it's success in the JRA Best Workplaces Awards 2011, finishing in the top ten in the small business category at the awards ceremony held at the Langham Hotel in Auckland on Thursday 17 November.  This is ARO's third consecutive year as a finalist and is another great milestone for the organisation.


New research project for women undergoing radiation therapy

One of the major concerns for women undergoing radiation therapy to the breast area is the extent of the skin reaction or "burning" they might experience.  This is a very individual reaction to the treatment and the amount of skin changes vary greatly from patient to patient, dependant on skin type, age and lifestyle amongst other things...