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Recently, Dr Andrew Potter, Radiation Oncologist, gave an extremely informative and well received presentation to a group of 40 Nurse Practitioners and Nurses working in the Palliative Care arena, on Radiation Therapy: Optimising outcomes in Palliative Care.

This successful event was collaboration between Adelaide Radiotherapy Centre and Palliative Care Nurses to provide an educational update, for nurses.

Dr Potter spoke on the changing landscape of Palliative Care in cancer and the specific approaches to palliative treatment for localised disease, limited metastatic disease and advanced metastatic disease, using Radiation Therapy.

Included in his presentation were the goals of treatment and the attention that is given to planning, dose, anticipating potential future problems and minimising the dose to normal tissue.

Aims of treatment include maximising control of metastatic sites, improving quality of life eg: reducing pain and delaying the need for systemic treatment.

Dr Potter went on to discuss techniques used in Radiation Therapy such as SABR (Stereotactic Ablative Body Radiation Therapy used in small volume metastases such as those in the lung, liver, spine, bone and soft tissue.

At ARC, with palliative care patients, our aim is to see, plan and commence treatment on the same day whenever possible. We understand the need for this in this particular patient cohort.

Deborah Hoberg, ARC’s Nurse Lead, presented on the Radiation Nurses role in Radiation Therapy treatment. One of the take home messages was the importance of ensuring that the patient has adequate pain relief prior to going onto the CT scanner for SIM planning and also prior to treatment.

Another highlight for those attending was a tour of our Kurralta Park site and following the patient's journey through Radiation Therapy. A massive thank you goes out to our dedicated staff that assisted on the night.

Some of the comments made on the educational evaluation forms included: “Dr Potter’s targeted overview of radiotherapy treatment in the palliative setting was concise with great individual case study explanations” and “the site tour was fantastic”.

Adelaide Radiotherapy is committed to working as a team with patients, their families, carers, community support groups and Health Care professionals to assist in optimising outcomes in palliative care.

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