Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital has opened a state-of-the- art oncology centre in Cape Town which will provide holistic cancer treatment for all types of cancer and benign lesions.

According to Netcare, the modern oncology centre is equipped with advanced cancer treatment technology and will house the Western Cape’s first Elekta Versa HD linear accelerator.

The radiotherapy system incorporates the latest in imaging technology, to ensure high-precision targeting of tumours and metastases, and can treat a wide range of cancers throughout the body by means of external beam radiotherapy and stereotactic irradiation.

General Manager of Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital, Chris Tilney, says the Elekta Versa HD uses algorithms to calculate the optimum dose for each patient while limiting radiation exposure to healthy tissue and surrounding critical structures, which is particularly important when treating lesions in the brain, for example.

“Advanced imaging and positioning capabilities result in shorter treatment times and advanced motion management means that lesions can be targeted with sub-millimetre precision,” said Tilney.

According to Tilney, the hospital’s former premises in the city centre did not have sufficient space for a cancer centre offering the full spectrum of therapies required for a truly comprehensive and integrated oncology centre.

“The hospital’s new home on the foreshore provided us with the opportunity to custom design a dedicated oncology centre which accommodates the need for these services in a modern setting,” said Tilney.

The comprehensive range of treatment solutions that the hospital is now able to offer includes radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery, which may be used either independently or in specific combinations to ensure the best patient outcomes.

“A key advantage of this facility is that not only are all of these treatment options available under one roof, but also that radiation and medical oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, medical physicists and surgeons work closely together as a multidisciplinary team to determine the optimal approach for treating each patient, with radiation therapists, oncology pharmacists and oncology nurses also forming an integral part of patient treatment and care,” said Tilney.

“The centre commenced radiotherapy in December last year and we launched a chemotherapy service in February 2018. Other specialised cancer services, such as the highly advanced da Vinci Si robotic surgical system used in the treatment of localised prostate cancer as well as surgical interventions for a number of cancers have been available at our new hospital since its opening,” concluded Tilney.

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