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’s initiative has been made possible by the partnership’s major investment and greatly assisted by a donation of around $45,000 from a Trust set up in the name of respected broadcaster, Angela D’Audney.
Ms D’Audney, who died ten years ago this week, aged 57, from brain cancer had wished that this advanced form of radiotherapy could be available in New Zealand.
Now that dream will become a reality.
Stereotactic radiotherapy is a particular form of radiation therapy which at ARO will use image guidance, advanced patient positioning and radiation delivery technology to locate and treat the tumour target with a high degree of accuracy. Stereotactic treatment is able to treat small targets with great precision.
“This new technology targets smaller cancer areas more effectively with high accuracy and non-invasively, enabling improved quality of treatment of areas that have traditionally been difficult,” says ARO chairman, Dr Andrew Wong.
The greater accuracy offered by the stereotactic method enables treatments to occur over a shorter period than standard radiotherapy practice. Cancers to most benefit from stereotactic treatment are typically some that occur in the brain, lung, liver and spine and which are difficult or impossible to treat by other means.
“This is the realisation of a 10 year dream for friends of Angela D’Audney and the Angela D’Audney Trust. We know Angela would be thrilled that this type of Stereotactic radiotherapy is now an option for patients needing treatment for brain and other cancers,” comments Trustee Karen Olsen.
The new technology has been installed on a new linear accelerator from Elekta, bringing the number of linear accelerators at ARO to three. This new treatment option is now in the commissioning stage with the first patients to be treated around the middle of the year.
“We will begin with inter-cranial treatments (brain) and then extend the service to lung, liver, spine and so on as soon as possible,” says Dr Wong.