The Sunshine Hospital Radiation Therapy Centre has increased its treatment capacity with two new radiotherapy machines.

Cancer patients in the west now have access to the latest technology in radiation cancer treatment.

Today, the Sunshine Hospital Radiation Therapy Centre (SHRTC) facility commenced treatment on two new medical linear accelerator (LINAC) machines, as part of an investment in Melbourne’s west worth more than $6 million. 

The Sunshine Hospital Radiation Therapy Centre is a partnership between Western Health and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

Installation of the Varian Truebeam machines allows for delivery of especially complex treatments, including for small tumours in the brain, and highest dose treatments to other targets in the body. Previously, patients had to travel to Peter Mac’s Parkville campus to receive these treatments. 

FIRST PATIENT: Phillip Ring was the very first patient to be treated on the new Varian LINAC.
FIRST PATIENT: Phillip Ring was the very first patient to be treated on the new Varian LINAC.

The new machines are also more efficient, and can treat 10% more patients per year than the older machines.

LINACS use high-energy X-rays or electrons to destroy cancer cells. It is the device most commonly used to deliver radiation treatments to people with cancer. 

The first patient to be treated on the new LINACS, Philip Ring, said: “It’s great to have these new machines in Sunshine. I live in St Albans, so it’s easier to be treated at Sunshine Hospital rather than going into the city. Particularly because I’ll be coming in every week day for seven weeks.”

Western Health Chief Executive Russell Harrison said: “We are thrilled that the communities in Melbourne’s western suburbs now have access to these state-of-the-art machines, complementing the cancer care we provide at Western Health. Treatment delivered close to home is so important and offers many benefits to our patients and their families.”

Claire Phillips, Director of Radiation Oncology at Peter Mac, said:  “We are always looking to make it easier for patients to access treatment. These new capabilities will make treatment more bearable for a significant number of our patients”.