The Hon Jacinta Allan - Premier of Victoria - Home

Cutting-Edge Technology Tackles Brain Tumours

15 December 2020

Victorian patients with brain tumours and cranial disorders will have a greater chance of survival and improved quality of life thanks to Victoria’s first ever gamma knife.

Minister for Health Martin Foley today unveiled the $8 million gamma knife at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. The equipment is funded by the Andrews Labor Government and donors to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation.

The world-leading intra-cranial stereotactic radiosurgery and radiotherapy machine is only the third in Australia. It delivers high-intensity cobalt radiation therapy as a non-invasive way to treat lesions inside the skull.

The machine uses gamma rays to deliver a precise dose of radiation to the target in the brain to kill cancer cells and shrink tumours, while avoiding damaging healthy brain tissue.

Gamma knife radiosurgery and radiotherapy has revolutionised the management of patients who in the past had very limited treatment options and is widely accepted as the gold standard in radiosurgery for adults and children with brain tumours.

Up to 500 patients a year are expected to benefit from the new equipment - ensuring they receive the very best care they need closer to home.

The device may also provide new treatment options for a range of other non-cancerous conditions, such as painful trigeminal neuralgia, cranial vascular disorders, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease.

The installation of the gamma knife further entrenches Peter Mac as a place of world’s best cancer care for Victorian patients.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Martin Foley

“Victoria has always been at the forefront of cutting-edge medical treatment and the installation of the gamma knife at Peter Mac ensures Victorian patients continue to receive the best care close to home.”

“The gamma knife is set to save the lives of patients with hard-to-reach tumours, where other treatments may not have been able to be safely carried out and improve outcomes for many others.”

“The team of dedicated doctors, nurses, other healthcare workers and researchers at Peter Mac are world-leading and we’re ensuring they continue to have the equipment they need to give Victorian patients the very best care.”

Reviewed 14 December 2020

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