Radiosurgery surgeons at Life Vincent Pallotti Hospital have successfully performed a new treatment for multiple brain tumours, giving cancer patients an alternative to the traditional radiotherapy.

The Novalis Tx™ Stereotactic RadioSurgery technology provides advanced radiation therapy that targets difficult to reach tumours anywhere in the body without harming surrounding healthy tissue.

Previously, patients received whole-brain radiotherapy. This resulted in substantial damage to healthy tissue. An alternative was to treat tumours individually during multiple sessions.

With the new system, patients can now receive safe treatment for multiple tumours during a single therapy session. There is no need for anaesthesia, and while patient responses vary, most are able to resume their normal routine within a few hours after treatment.

“Undergoing treatment for a tumour or lesion can be challenging, it is for this reason that the Novalis Tx™ Stereotactic RadioSurgery was designed. The Novalis Tx technology shapes the radiation beam precisely according to the patient’s tumours, ensuring that the best possible treatment dose is delivered while protecting healthy tissue,” said Radiation Oncologist at Life Vincent Pallotti Hospital, Dr Jacqueline Hall.

“The unit rotates around the patient to deliver treatment beams anywhere in the body from virtually any angle. The radiation beam also adapts to the patient’s breathing and other body movements to continuously maintain safe, complete and accurate treatment,” continued Dr Hall.

Training of staff, upgrading of the facilities and services offered at the oncology centre is on-going. Additional new services are planned for the near future to ensure the unit at Life Vincent Pallotti Hospital continues to be a world-class cancer centre of excellence.

“The procedure has been successfully performed to assist more than 1,000 patients and the software is being adopted by more radiotherapy centres worldwide. We are therefore planning to offer the new treatment to more patients and will be conducting additional on-site training by the Brainlab team for the radiotherapy team and radiation oncologists,” said Dr Hall.

Life Vincent Pallotti Hospital opened the doors to its state-of-the-art oncology centre five years ago and was one of the first facilities in Africa to offer stereotactic radiotherapy with the Novalis Tx equipment.

The private hospital group is offering the treatment at three of its units; Life Hilton Private Hospital in Hilton KwaZulu-Natal, Life Vincent Pallotti Hospital in Cape Town and Life Eugene Marais Hospital in Pretoria.

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