Media Release - NSLHD 

Date: Friday, 22 July 2016


In an effort to maximise accessibility to superior prostate cancer treatment, Royal North Shore Hospital is trialling the application of its proven technology to standard radiotherapy equipment in a world-first trial.

The KIM (Kilovoltage Intrafraction Monitoring) software collects x-ray images of the prostate during radiotherapy and in this trial the KIM software is applied to existing equipment used in the hospital’s Northern Sydney Cancer Centre to improve the target accuracy of radiotherapy to the tumour.

Royal North Shore Hospital will apply the KIM software and MLC (Multileaf Collimator) tracking system on standard equipment.

Generally the prostate can move up to one centimetre out of field during treatment and this means the number of treatment sessions is increased to ensure the prescribed dose of radiotherapy is achieved.

The MLC tracking system allows automatic reshaping of the radiotherapy beam during treatment to follow the targeted area. This helps to improve the accuracy of radiation delivery and reduce the impact on surrounding healthy tissue, which means the number of treatment sessions required is significantly reduced.

Northern Sydney Cancer Centre’s Associate Professor Andrew Kneebone said the trial would enhance existing clinical care.

"Applying this technology to existing equipment allows us to make advanced treatments accessible to more patients," said A/Prof Kneebone.

"We are essentially trialling the ability to provide safer and faster care without the need for investing money on new machines."

The new trial will involve 14 patients to allow researchers to determine if the software is adaptable.

Dr Jeremy Booth, Director of Medical Physics at the Northern Sydney Cancer Centre said this work follows four years of pioneering and clinically developing the two software systems alongside University of Sydney researchers.

"The potential of adaptive radiotherapy is to target all moving tumours with sub-millimetre accuracy creating a range of benefits including higher doses, lower toxicity and shorter treatments," Dr Booth said.

University of Sydney’s Radiation Physics Laboratory Director Professor Paul Keall added: "This milestone means that real-time adaptive radiotherapy has been implemented for the first time on a conventional linear accelerator, providing a pathway for this technology to benefit a large fraction of the world's cancer patients".

Mr Alfred Taylor, a 69 year old Botany resident, was the first patient in the trial following an initial diagnosis in March this year. 2

He said it was a wonderful opportunity to be part of something new.

"It was easy lying on the table for five 20 minute sessions, much better than doing it 40 times," Mr Taylor said.

"I had confidence in being part of the trial knowing that the standard treatment was there if I needed a second chance."

The initial analysis of Mr Taylor’s treatment shows there was some movement during his radiotherapy and if he had undergone the standard treatment the dosage would have partially missed the prostate.

Media inquiries: Melissa Chain 9463 1748

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