STATE-OF-THE-ART: Dennis McNamara with the team and the Varian Halcyon™ machine at Icon Group's Radiation Oncology Centre.
STATE-OF-THE-ART: Dennis McNamara with the team and the Varian Halcyon™ machine at Icon Group's Radiation Oncology Centre.

Australia-first cancer treatment in Toowoomba

TOOWOOMBA local, 71-year-old Dennis McNamara, has the dubious honour of being the first person in Australia to be treated by the world's most innovative radiation oncology treatment.

Dennis was diagnosed with prostate cancer in July and is the first patient to be treated with the state-of-the-art Varian Halcyon™ machine at Icon Group's Radiation Oncology Centre (ROC).

"It feels exciting in a way," Dennis said. "Of course, you don't want to be there in the first place, but I also feel privileged to be able to get the latest treatment here in Toowoomba. It is nice to know you have people looking after you."

The new technology reportedly streamlines and simplifies every aspect of a patient's cancer treatment, delivering radiation therapy with pinpoint precision and speed.

It has the capacity to treat up to 50 patients a day at ROC.

Dennis, a retired boilermaker, has a sad family history of cancer. One brother has been diagnosed with kidney cancer, another passed away from lymphoma, and his mum from pancreatic cancer.

He was shocked when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer as he had not noticed any symptoms.

"You can't do anything about it but get the treatment you need," Dennis said practically.

Icon Group CEO Mark Middleton said he was excited to be able to bring the world-class radiation technology to town.

"Since opening in 2007, our Toowoomba centre has helped keep families together, saving over 6000 cancer patients from the arduous journey into Brisbane," Mark said.

"Bringing exceptional cancer care to more people, closer to home is something that the local Darling Downs community deserves."

Alongside ROC, Icon Group also delivers medical oncology and haematology consultations and a pharmacy service at St Andrew's Hospital.


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