New treatment available for Gold Coast Patients with liver cancers

Liver cancer patients on the Gold Coast now have better access to potentially life-changing treatment, without needing to travel.

Three new procedures have arrived at John Flynn Private Hospital: Stereotactic Radiation Therapy, Liver Ablation and Sir-Spheres Treatment.

Radiation oncologist Dr Sid Baxi said: “Before the services expanded, some patients who needed this liver-directed treatment had to go to either Brisbane, or even to Sydney for their treatment.”

The three services are a result of collaboration between John Flynn Private Hospital, oncology service provider GenesisCare and South Coast Radiology.

Sir-Spheres Treatment involves injecting radioactive Yttrium-90 beads in to a liver tumour, which destroys the tumour within. The ablation procedure uses heat to destroy a tumour. Both are done by interventional radiologists at South Coast Radiology.

“Many of these patients would otherwise have incurable diseases; with these options on the table we are actually able to get these patients into remission. So the ultimate end point for these patients, is to cure the patient,” Dr Baxi said.

The treatments are less invasive, which means fragile patients who are unable to undergo surgery can be treated with these procedures. This applies to nearly one in three patients who cannot have liver surgery for their tumours for various reasons.

“We have six patients who have already used the service on the Gold Coast. Doctors bring the cases to a multi-disciplinary team, who decide if the treatments are appropriate for each patient,” Dr Baxi said.

The arrival of the additional services follows the roll-out of liver radiation therapy, known as liver SBRT, which started at John Flynn Private Hospital in November 2018.

Liver SBRT is the most advanced treatment for tumours that have started in the liver or spread to the liver. It uses a highly focused radiation beam to target the tumour without damaging surrounding tissue.

“It’s well tolerated, effective and ticks all the boxes of what you’d like treatments to be like,” Dr Baxi said.

May 14, 2019

Source: Ramsay Health Care, John Flynn Private Hospital