SLRON is now one of the biggest radiotherapy treatment centres in Europe

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SLRON is now one of the biggest radiotherapy treatment centres in Europe

St Luke's Radiation Oncology Network Increases Capacity for Cancer Treatment with Installation of Two New Radiotherapy Machines

  • St Luke's Radiaton Oncology Network now one of biggest radiotherapy treatment centres in Europe
  • New machines provide faster treatment state of the art specialist radiotherapy services
  • €7.5m investment in line with the National Cancer Control Strategy 

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris officially opened two new linear accelerators known as linacs at St Luke's Hospital, part of the St Luke's Radiation Oncology Network (SLRON).  

The new linacs will each treat an average of 30 patients per day, increasing capcity for cancer treatment within SLRON and ultimately survival rates for cancer patients.   Linacs are used to provide treatment for the majority (>90%) of aptients undergoing radiotherapy in Ireland.  Linacs target a tumour's shape and destroy cancer cells while sparing surrounding normal tissue. 

The new state-of-the-art machines include features such as:

  • Enhanced patient imaging facilities to ensure accuracy in delivery of treatment;
  • A very fast treatment delivery mode;
  • The capability to deliver treatment in time with the patient's breathing cycle, improving the accuracy of treatment for moving lung tumours and upper abdominal tumours. 

These new features allow SLRON to expand the range of services offered to patients and provide the opportuntity to further "freeze" the motion of moving tumours, allowing an unprecedented accuracy in treatment.  The additional features also allow SLRON to increase the number of international clinical trials it can participate in, further improving the service provided to patients.  

Bringing the total to 14 in Dublin, the two new linac's make SLRON the most comprehensive radiotherapy facility in Ireland and one of the biggest radiotherapy facilities in Europe.  The new €7.5m instalment will meet Ireland's radiotherapy treatment needs for the next three years, based on current estimates of patient numbers.  

Speaking at the opening, Minister for Health Simon Harris commented "I'm delighted to officially open the two new linear accelerators at St Luke's Hospital.  These new mahcines will make a real difference for patients.  With the number of cases of cancer in Ireland expected to increase by nearly 50% in men and 40% in women by 2025, we need to focus on future-proofing our cancer service and today is an excellent example of this.  When I launched the National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026 in July we set ourselves the ambitious target of being in the top quartile of European countries for cancer survival by the end of the strategy period.  While we continue to make great progress in ireland in treating cancer and in improving our survival rates, we must also sustain our focus on prevention.  It is essential that we increase awareness of cancer and encourage healthier lifestyles to prevent as many cancers as possible".