AI machine personalises cancer therapy


A 72-year-old Sydney patient is the first Australian in the Southern Hemisphere to receive revolutionary new personalised cancer therapy that halves treatment time.

John Buchanan underwent the radiation procedure on his prostate at Icon Cancer Centre Wahroonga, based at Sydney Adventist Hospital.

Using artificial intelligence, the Varian Ethos system delivers a new level of accuracy by allowing clinicians to monitor patients’ internal and external anatomy, and tailor treatment to suit.

They can change dose and delivery at every therapy session, which typically last 15 minutes compared to the usual 40 minutes that other systems take due to the need for manual reconfiguration of the treatment.

“I was glad when I was told that I would be a good candidate for this new technology. It means I spend less time in treatment and can get on with my day,” Mr Buchanan said.

“Receiving treatment that will directly target the prostate bed while avoiding damage to the bladder and bowel is fantastic. The possibility of coming out of the end without further side-effects – that’s got to be a positive,” he added.

Australia is the third country to use the new technology, after Denmark and the Netherlands. Icon – a global group with 40 cancer centres – plans to install the machine at a second Australian location. 

“We are committed to reducing the global cancer burden through the best possible technology in our centres,” Icon Group CEO Mark Middleton said.

“Icon is proud to empower our clinicians with new world-class treatment solutions and improve outcomes for patients, making a lasting difference now and in the future," he said.

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