THE arrival of treatment equipment at the North West Cancer Centre this week marks the next step in the delivery of radiation therapy to northern region cancer patients for the very first time.
Physicists will begin installation and calibration of the linear accelerator immediately and it is expected to be operational mid next year.
Cancer services health service manager Peter Freeman said the cancer centre would have the capacity to treat 420 new patients a year with the machine.
The centre also has a second bunker to house another linear accelerator, which Mr Freeman said would be introduced in a couple of years’ time and would double that capacity.
The orthovoltage unit, which is used to treat superficial cancers such as skin cancers, also arrived this week, and the planning CT scanner for radiation therapy will arrive next week.
Mr Freeman said the recruitment of health professionals to deliver radiation therapy was going well.
Chief radiation therapist David Willis has already started, while the director of radiation oncology, Dr Shaun Costello, arrives nextTuesday.
Other staff will arrive by April next year, ahead of the start oftreatment.
Mr Freeman said the arrival of radiation therapy in the region would mean many patients would no longer have to travel away for the typical six-week treatment course, remaining close to family and support networks.
The cancer centre will open in February alongside a new10-room, 20-bed patient and carer accommodation facility at thehospital.
Existing cancer services will move in and begin treatment from the centre in February.
ONE STEP CLOSER: The linear accelerator, which delivers radiation therapy to cancer patients, arrives at the North West Cancer Centre.
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