Mediclinic Vereeniging Offers Improved Radiotherapy
Posted on 10 October 2019
The Elekta Synergy Platform Linear Accelerator offers highly targeted radiotherapy equipment with advanced imaging technology, which allows clinicians to treat smaller tumours and reduce radiotherapy impacts on healthy tissue.
New technology, with a higher degree of accuracy, fewer side-effects and improved long-term clinical outcomes … cancer patients at Mediclinic Vereeniging are benefitting from a major investment in world-class radiotherapy equipment.
The Vaal Triangle Oncology Centre at Mediclinic Vereeniging receives a high number of cancer patients from surrounding areas – including Sasolburg, Villiers, Frankfort, Sharpeville, Heilbron, Carletonville, Fochville and Sebokeng – who often require various forms of radiation treatments, says Marike Valster, Northern Region Regional Area Manager: Icon SA.
The Independent Clinical Oncology Network (Icon), which includes over 80% of South Africa’s private practice oncologists and radiation oncologists, offers a progressive approach to cancer treatment that combines population risk management with individualised care. Its multidisciplinary oncology centres can be found at many Mediclinic facilities across South Africa.
Now, its team of radiation oncology specialists at Mediclinic Vereeniging are empowered to bring patients the latest in world-class oncology care, as the unit is equipped with an Elekta Synergy Platform Linear Accelerator.
Radiation therapy is a form of cancer treatment that utilises beams of energy – such as X-rays, protons or electrons – to destroy abnormal, cancerous cells. There are two forms of radiation therapy: external beam radiation therapy, which stems from a machine outside of the body, aims the beams at a precise point on or under the surface of the body, while brachytherapy works by placing sources of radiation inside the body.
Ideally, radiation therapy damages cancerous cells by destroying the genetic material that dictates the way in which they cells grow and divide. This is an effective treatment option that can often cure qualifying cancers – although one danger is that it could damage normal, healthy cells as well.
External beam radiation therapy is administered by means of a linear accelerator, and the Elekta Synergy Platform is one of the most innovative of its kind.
“The Elekta Synergy Platform gives our doctors options,” explains Valster. “We can design X-ray treatments in such a way that they destroy the cancer cells while sparing surrounding normal tissue. It can perform simple, superficial skin radiation treatments, conventional 3D volume treatments and most importantly, specialised IMRT treatment.”
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) accurately targets cancerous cells and protects surrounding healthy tissue from radiation exposure by allowing doctors to constantly monitor the accuracy of the applied dosage. All kinds of radiosensitive cancers can be treated, explains Valster, and the results are hugely beneficial: greater accuracy in treatment, with fewer side effects.
Radiation therapy administered by the Elekta Synergy Platform Linear Accelerator can be used to treat a large number of cancers, including those of the brain, breast, gastrointestinal system and skin. IMRT allows doctors to treat complex tumours with high doses of radiation, while ensuring maximum protection of the healthy tissues and organs and a greatly reduced window of exposure.