QLD secures Australia's first Gamma Knife for cancer surgery

THE Palaszczuk Government has secured the first and only Gamma Knife for a public hospital system in Australia.

The $4.3 million dollar, four tonne machine allows radiation oncologists to treat brain tumours without cutting into a patient's skull.

"The delivery of this state-of-the-art machine to the Princess Alexandra Hospital will provide a non-invasive alternative to neurosurgery and better treatment options for Queenslanders," Health Minister Cameron Dick  said.

"The use of this machine will enable faster recovery times, less time in hospital and the ability for patients to go home to their families on the same day of treatment with minimal discomfort.

"The Gamma Knife is well established world-wide and this is the only Gamma Knife technology available in the public hospital system in Australia and the only service in Queensland."

Mr. Dick said the new Gamma Knife Centre of Queensland- Princess Alexandra Hospitalservice will begin treating its first patients in August this year.

PA Hospital's Chairman of Neurosurgery Dr. Bruce Hall said Gamma Knife surgery offered a safe and effective treatment for patients and the treatment procedure was simple, painless and straight forward.

"Gamma Knife surgery is a well-established method to treat selected targets in the brain; but contrary to first impressions, it is not a knife," Dr. Hall said.

"Very precise, focused beams of radiation are directed to the treatment area in the brain and the shape and dose of the radiation is designed to hit only the target without damaging surrounding healthy tissue.

"The biggest benefits for our patients are that treatment involves less risk of complications, fewer side effects, and a reduced impact on quality of life.

"Gamma knife is a one-session day procedure and does not require any cutting or shaving of hair."

PA Hospital radiation oncologist Dr Matthew Foote said the Gamma Knife delivers treatment called stereotactic radiosurgery, which is a highly precise form of radiation and can be used on various brain conditions including malignant or benign tumours.

"PA Hospital has an international reputation in the delivery of highly targeted (stereotactic) body and brain radiation therapy," Dr Foote said.

"Gamma Knife is the most accurate and efficient way to deliver intra-cranial radiosurgery, particularly for treating multiple lesions,with less need for surgery," Dr Foote said.

"Treatment is done as an outpatient, with no prolonged stay in hospital so patients can go home to their families and feel well enough to go back to work the next day.

"Our new Gamma Knife Centre of Queensland- Princess Alexandra Hospitalservice will compliment PA Hospital's reputation as a centre of excellence in cancer care and treatment and establish our service as a world-class radiosurgery facility.''