CodeBlue – Published 6 May 2021
The Varian TrueBeam Radiosurgery at Beacon Hospital is capable of destroying or deactivating tumor lesions while minimizing harm to the surrounding tissue. This advanced technology has proven to be highly effective in the treatment of cancer. Patients who receive treatment with this system have a higher chance of successful recovery.
The TrueBeam Radiosurgery with HyperArc system is a radiotherapy machine using advanced stereotactic technology that delivers a much faster and more accurate radiation dose, as compared to a conventional radiotherapy system.
Consultant clinical oncologist and medical director of Beacon Hospital, Dr Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Wahid, explained that the Varian TrueBeam radiosurgery with HyperArc system enables a very fine beam of high radiation to focus on the tumour to eradicate it, while minimising damage to the surrounding tissue.
Dr. Lee Foo Chiang, a consultant neurosurgeon, defined stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) as the procedure for treating brain tumors. SRS is a type of radiation therapy that does not require making a surgical incision or administering general anesthesia.
In addition, Dr. Lee mentioned that Beacon Hospital acquired this cutting-edge technology in 2019, which can effectively treat both intracranial and extracranial brain tumors.
“Besides treating metastatic brain tumours, SRS can also be used to treat benign tumours like meningiomas, acoustic neuromas, arteriovenous malformation, trigeminal neuralgia etc.”
The TrueBeam system generates high-quality 3D images of the tumour 60 per cent faster. The medical staff uses these images to adjust the patient’s position before and during the treatment.
According to Dr. Chee Chee Pin, a consultant neurosurgeon at Beacon Hospital, the use of HyperArc technology makes it possible to complete most brain tumor treatments in about 20 minutes. This time includes positioning the patient and verifying the images. This is significantly faster than traditional treatments. As a result, patients can receive treatment more efficiently and comfortably.
The treatment gives big doses at a very small period of time, within five or 10 consecutive days, which gives an advantage of preventing the tumour from having the time to repair itself.
The consultant oncologist from Beacon Hospital, Dr Tho Lye Mun, shared that one of his former patients, who held a top position in a multinational company, managed to maintain excellent brain function after undergoing Varian TrueBeam radiosurgery. “He had stage 4 lung cancer, which had spread to the brain.
So, we used stereotactic radiosurgery to target the tumour and kill it while avoiding the rest of his brain. Dr. Tho reported that the patient was able to maintain memory, thought processes, and function. This allowed the patient to continue working and enjoy a good quality of life with his family.