It is very exciting for me to share with you that the first patient was treated using VERO last week. It was a true testament of the power of philanthropy to improve patient outcomes.
The first patient treated with VERO is a patient with cancer of the bile duct. We opted to treat them using VERO because of the pivoting ring feature of the machine, which allowed us to maneuver the radiation beams to target the tumour, while sparing most of the heart from significant irradiation.
This is a basic function of VERO, yet in that there is already an advantage over the most sophisticated treatments that we could devise using conventional treatment units. It’s what makes the machine essential as a treatment tool. We expect the advantages of using VERO to be magnified as we continue to develop more sophisticated techniques using the equipment, so the future of cancer treatment looks very bright.
My goal as a radiation oncologist is to one day see cancer become a manageable disease, similar to how diabetes is treated and managed. With this kind of equipment, and with the continued support of donors, I am confident that this will one day become a reality.
We are very fortunate to have a fundraising partner, the BC Cancer Foundation, whose support has made VERO possible and truly raised the standard of care for patients in this province.
This is my last post as the BC Cancer Foundation’s June guest blogger. It’s been a pleasure updating you on the importance and impact of VERO. Thank you for reading.
Dr. Roy Ma