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System enables cancer patients to access treatment faster

Media Release

Innovative planning 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). 

ARO is the first clinic in Australasia to implement the state of the art RayStation® system which enables staff to create radiation treatments with the highest precision tailored to an individual patient’s needs.

“RayStation provides much faster calculation times for the complicated range of optimised treatment plans we produce to suit our patients' needs. This will allow us to reduce the time from diagnosis to treatment by several days,” explains Dr Bon Mzenda, ARO’s chief physicist.

Dr Mzenda adds that receiving a cancer diagnosis can be an anxious time for patients and most want to start their radiation therapy as quickly as possible.

In July, an ARO prostate cancer patient became the first in Oceania to be treated using the new RayStation® planning system and Volumetric Modulated Radiation Therapy (VMAT) delivered on an Elekta linear accelerator.

“For our clinic, RayStation offers many advantages. The increased dose computational speed of the system gives us significant gains in managing our planning workload. The system also gives us more flexibility in transferring patients between the machines when required.”

Dr Mzenda says another important feature is dose tracking.

“We can use information from the daily treatment verification imaging to account for changes in patient conditions, such as weight changes, to continually provide optimum treatment plans throughout the treatment regime. This process maximises tumour cell-kill probability while sparing critical organs.”

ARO chair, Dr Andrew Wong says, “We are committed to providing a state of the art facility for the treatment of patients requiring radiation therapy. We have invested heavily, and will continue to invest, to ensure that the techniques, equipment and software we use are at the cutting-edge of clinically-proven oncology treatment. RayStation® provides a planning system that promises to meet the ever-increasing challenges of modern, advanced radiotherapy provision.”

He adds that an efficient treatment planning system ensures efficient radiation therapy.

“The team at Auckland Radiation Oncology is highly skilled and we are proud that we live up to their quality demands. RayStation® has been used clinically in North America and Europe for some time and now we pass the next important milestone when the system is used clinically in this region as well. We are now expanding our sales and service network and we look forward to helping ARO as they work hard every day to give cancer patients the best treatments possible,” says Johan Löf, CEO of RaySearch, manufacturers of RayStation®.

Around twenty thousand people are currently diagnosed with cancer each year in New Zealand, and this figure is expected to rise sharply over the next few decades. At the same time, methods for diagnosis and techniques for treating cancer are improving. Growing numbers of patients can thus overcome cancer. Nearly two out of three cancer patients survive today, and this positive trend continues. Expertise in treatment planning plays a key role in this development.


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