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Alternative therapy reduces complications for childhood cancers

9 December 2022

Radiation Oncology PAH Raymond Terrace (ROPART) has commenced Extracorporeal Irradiation (ECI) in collaboration with Queensland Children’s Hospital to reduce the potential complications for children being treated for specific cancers. 

The treatment method is an alternative to traditional limb-conservation surgery which avoids resecting the affected bone and replacing it with a prosthetic.

Instead ECI allows for the patient’s resected bone to be treated with radiation before it is reinserted while they are still under general anaesthetic.

Director of Radiation Therapy Services at ROPART, Simon McQuitty says the most common disease to be referred for ECI treatment is Ewing’s Sarcoma, with the first ECI treatment performed in June this year. 

“The process worked very efficiently. From collection of the bone from theatres at QCH, transportation to our linear accelerators at ROPART, the radiation process and return of the bone to theatre, the process took 30 minutes which is a great result,” Simon said.

“While the method is not new in Australia, one of the key benefits is in minimising complications that can come from the body’s natural rejection of prosthetics and reduced risk of infection.”

The addition of the ECI program extends the range of services on offer at ROPART for state-wide paediatric care and affords cancer patients more service options for their treatment. 

“The team approach and our partnership with QCH involved significant work from numerous disciplines within ROPART to ensure an efficient and streamlined process to minimise the time required for the surgical and general anaesthetic procedure.

“While this is a fairly rare procedure, we look forward to providing more of this specialised service to QCH throughout the years.”

Last updated 9 December 2022
Last reviewed 9 December 2022

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