AHA Funds State-Of-The-Art Equipment for Cancer
First Published: ENews - April 2011
Liver cancer patients at Flinders Medical Centre (FMC) are benefiting from one of only two Microwave Ablation machines in operation in Australia, thanks to the Australian Hotels Association SA who kindly provided $30,000 to allow its purchase.
The new Microwave Ablation machine precisely targets and destroys cancerous tumours inside an organ using microwaves emitted from a fine needle. The needle is directed into the tumour via open or laparoscopic surgery or through the skin under ultrasound or CT guidance.
The Microwave Ablation machine is currently being used at FMC to successfully treat small tumours in the liver and to slow the progression of cancer for patients on the Liver Transplant waiting list. It is hoped this equipment will also benefit some patients with inoperable lung and kidney tumours.
FMC Surgeons said the new technology is more effective and less time consuming than other means of ablating tumours such as radiofrequency ablation or cryoablation (freezing the tumour).
Dr John Chen, Head of the South Australian Liver Transplant Unit at FMC, said "we are very grateful to the AHA for giving us this state of the art equipment, which will bring benefits for patients and may spare some patients from invasive surgery.
"This equipment will also mean that we will be able to treat tumours in patients who are too ill for a major operation, or to prevent the tumours of patients on the liver transplant waiting list from growing or spreading.
"It is very new technology and there are only two machine of this type in operation in Australia - I believe the other one is in Sydney. We have so far used it to treat five liver cancer patients at Flinders Medical Centre, and we are still waiting for the results of follow up scans but so far everything is looking very promising for those patients."
The Australian Hotels Association SA has provided more than $86,000 to the Flinders Medical Centre Foundation since 2000, which, amongst other projects has supported setting up a telemedicine video conferencing facility to allow long-distance consultations between country patients and cardiologists, the purchase of a vital signs patient monitor, and the purchase of a two-in-one heart monitor and defibrillator.