Cork centre boasts most advanced Radiosurgery system

North Block expansion of the Bon Secours Hospital, Cork. (Picture: f22 Photography)

Cancer patients with difficult-to-reach brain, spine, lung and other tumours are now benefiting from one of the world’s most advanced stereotactic radiosurgery systems (SRS) at Bon Secours Radiotherapy Cork in partnership with UPMC Hillman Cancer Centre.

Using the first HyperArc technology available in Ireland from Varian Medical Systems, clinicians in Cork recently treated a patient’s multiple brain metastases simultaneously with this non-surgical approach.

“With HyperArc, we can treat up to 10 tumours in a targeted way all at the same time, in under half an hour,” said radiation oncologist Paul Kelly MD, who leads radiotherapy services at Bon Secours Radiotherapy Cork. 

“Previously, patients had whole-brain radiation with the side effects of significant fatigue, memory issues and hair loss that are not associated with SRS to the same extent.” 

In combination with the Varian EDGE treatment platform, the HyperArc uses focused beams of high-energy radiation to destroy tumours, while minimising damage to surrounding healthy tissues.

“Before our centre offered SRS, patients in this region who needed stereotactic radiotherapy treatment had to travel for hours each way to Dublin, multiple times a week, and often would decide to forgo treatment rather than endure the hardship and cost of this journey,” said Mr Kelly. 

“Providing this cutting-edge treatment with the support of UPMC’s world-renowned oncology team is an exciting advance for our patients,” he said.

A stereotactic radiosurgery treatment with the EDGE is completed much faster — within 15 to 20 minutes — compared with 30 to 60 minutes with previous systems, improving accuracy and comfort for patients.