October 28, 2022 – St. John’s, NL: Eastern Health is pleased to announce that the Provincial Cancer Care Program has a new radiation treatment suite that features a TrueBeam Radiation Therapy System. This leading-edge radiation treatment unit builds upon the treatment technology already in place at the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre to provide further customized care to patients with cancers. The TrueBeam System is safe, reliable and delivers radiation treatments quickly and with high precision.
“The Provincial Cancer Care Program is excited to be able to offer this new system for our patients, specifically those with cancers of the head and neck, brain, lung, and prostate,” said Debbie Walsh, vice president of the Provincial Cancer Care Program with Eastern Health. “Providing quality care is of the utmost importance and having the TrueBeam System allows us to provide enhanced radiation therapy by developing services that are customized to the individual patient.”
The TrueBeam Radiation Therapy System integrates imaging, radiation beam delivery and motion management to give clinicians greater control of radiation therapy which leads to a reduction in side effects by targeting the tumour and limiting the radiation to surrounding areas. As well as facilitating a more comfortable experience for the patient with fewer treatments and/or shorter treatment times in the treatment bed, a more efficient delivery of treatment also allows for reduced chances of tumor motion during treatment, which helps protect nearby healthy tissue and critical organs.
“Radiotherapy is an essential part of cancer care. Ensuring our equipment keeps pace with the evolving standards of practice is essential, and so this new linear accelerator is an important addition to our program,” said Dr. Teri Stuckless, clinical chief for the Provincial Cancer Care Program. “The TrueBeam system provides clinicians with real-time imaging tools. This allows us to target tumours with extreme precision and broaden the range of radiotherapy services we provide because we can see the tumour as we are treating it.”
The new radiation therapy suite includes a visual art therapy mural provided by the Cancer Care Foundation.
“The impact of artwork in health care has long been shown to be beneficial to patients and the Cancer Care Foundation is pleased to provide our eighth visual art therapy mural in a radiation therapy space,” said Lynette Hillier, executive director, Cancer Care Foundation. “We partnered with local artist Heather Coughlan to commission a beautiful piece to help alleviate stress and anxiety of patients coming for radiation treatment.”
Approximately, 50 per cent of all cancer patients receive radiation treatment. The Provincial Cancer Care Program performs more than 26,000 radiation treatments each year and 400-500 patients per year will be treated on this radiation treatment unit. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador provided funding for the replacement treatment unit.
About Eastern Health
Eastern Health is the largest, integrated health authority in Newfoundland and Labrador employing approximately 13,000 dedicated employees, over 700 medical staff, and is supported by hundreds of volunteers, including members of numerous auxiliaries and fundraising foundations. With an annual budget of approximately $1.7 billion, the authority offers the full continuum of health and community services including public health, long-term care, community services, hospital care and unique provincial programs and services. Serving a population of over 300,000, Eastern Health’s geographic boundaries extend west from St. John’s to Port Blandford including all communities on the Avalon, Burin and Bonavista Peninsulas.