More than 40,000 radiation therapy treatments delivered to cancer patients in Wide Bay using world class technology previously not available

The first patients treated at the GenesisCare radiation oncology centres in Fraser Coast and Bundaberg are celebrating the two-year anniversaries of the two cancer treatment centres with a visit to GenesisCare Fraser Coast today.

Both centres opened in 2018 as part of a public-private partnership with Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service to increase access to world-class cancer care for both public and private patients in the region.

Specialist teams at GenesisCare Fraser Coast and Bundaberg have since delivered over 40,000 treatments to more than 2500 cancer patients in the Wide Bay region, many of whom were previously having to travel to Brisbane for high end treatments which are delivered daily over a few days to a few weeks.

GenesisCare has invested more than $15 million over the past two years to introduce services not previously available in Wide Bay:

  1. Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH): For patients with left-sided breast cancer, DIBH is a technique which reduces the effects of radiotherapy on the heart to minimise the risk of long-term side effects.
  2. Stereotactic Ablative Body Therapy (SABR): For lung and bone cancer patients, the SABR technique offers a highly targeted treatment option, targeting tumours in fewer high-dose treatments than traditional therapy.
  3. Live Life Get Active fitness camps: Free fitness camps at Bundaberg, Hervey Bay and Maryborough to support patients in their treatment journey

GenesisCare also opened a second treatment service at Fraser Coast in May 2019 to meet the high demand in the region and will be installing a second linear accelerator, the treatment machine used to deliver highly target radiation to the cancer, in Bundaberg mid-2020.

Both centres will also be among the first in Australia to access a new type of cancer treatment technology, the Brainlab ExacTrac Dynamic, which are scheduled to launch at both sites by July 2020. The ExacTrac Dynamic is designed to deliver millimetre accuracy during radiation therapy treatment through greater visualisation.

Dr Marie Burke, GenesisCare Queensland Medical Director of Oncology, said: “We are pleased to be here at our centre in Fraser Coast today to celebrate our 2nd anniversary and the expansion of our services and technology in the Wide Bay region.

“At GenesisCare, we are committed to ensuring all cancer patients, regardless of where they live, receive access to the latest cancer treatments and technology, closer to home.

“We’re proud to be providing high end radiation therapy to the local community, including innovative breast cancer treatment techniques and stereotactic treatments for patients with lung and bone cancer. Exciting advancements including the installation of ExacTrac Dynamic systems, which will be among the first in Australia, are also planned for 2020 to continually increase access to world-class care in the region. “

Andrew Saunders, GenesisCare Queensland General Manager, said: “In partnership with Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service, we are also rapidly expanding our research capabilities in the Wide Bay region and are actively recruiting for two clinical trials, C-POST and EXPERT. We’re thrilled that patients in the Wide Bay are able to access not only cutting-edge treatment and high-quality care but also the latest international oncology trials.”

EXPERT is an international clinical trial which aims to improve personalised use of radiation therapy in patients with early breast cancer according to their individual risk of local recurrence.

“The benefit of being part of the GenesisCare network is that all our patients, regardless of whether they live in metro Brisbane or regional Queensland, have access to the latest protocols, screening for suitable clinical trials and advanced treatment options.”

“We are also pioneering treatments for widespread non melanoma skin cancer and we are in the process of developing an outcomes registry which will have an impact on the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer globally.”

Peter Wood, General Manager for Medicine at WBHHS, said: “Providing more care closer to home is a key aim in our efforts to provide the best possible patient-centred care, and our partnership with GenesisCare plays an important role in helping us to do that.

“A cancer diagnosis is always stressful for patients and their loved ones, so providing more services close to home means we can remove the burden of travel from an already challenging situation.

“I welcome the service expansions and enhancements at GenesisCare’s two radiation therapy centres in Wide Bay, whose teams are doing a fantastic job of patient care and meeting growing demand.

“Access to high-quality cancer care has traditionally been more challenging for regional and rural patients and has consequently affected their health outcomes. But as we continue to develop our cancer care services, and our partnership with GenesisCare makes world-class radiation therapy more accessible, we’re improving outcomes and making a big difference to our patients’ quality of life.”

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