Wellington mother first person in New Zealand to have multiple brain tumours treated at once

A Wellington mother is the first person in New Zealand to have multiple brain tumours treated at once. 

It's thanks to a new radiation machine, which allows multiple lesions to be targetted simultaneously without damaging healthy brain tissue.

The cutting edge of cancer technology is in Wellington. It's called the HyperArc, and for Emily Brodnicki, it's quite literally a life-saver. 

She's been fighting bowel cancer since 2016, and earlier this year three tumours were found in her brain. 

"The fact that they can treat it with this software, all at once and it's only 15 minutes. Five minutes CT scan each side and then five minutes treatment, it's quite unreal," she told Newshub. 

In August, the Government announced it's investing in 12 new radiation machines over the next three years. 

They'll have the software and technology to administer similar treatment. 

The automated bed is a critical element that radiation oncologists say is a major breakthrough.

What they used to do was treat the whole brain, but more recently they are starting to treat just the focal tumours themselves. 

That means the healthy tissue surrounding the tumour is spared.

"The issue with giving doses to a healthy brain is that it can cause longer-term side effects and one of the common ones is short term memory loss," radiation oncologist Dr Nichola Naidoo says. 

And other side effects will be far less significant too. 

"I had a bit of a headache, I felt a bit tired but nothing I was too concerned about," Brodnicki says. 

She says that's something she's grateful for as she continues her cancer treatment.

The treatment is available at Bowen Icon Cancer Centre.