New radiotherapy machine for Life Hilton
The Life Hilton Radiotherapy Unit Team with their new, stateoftheart radiotherapy machine ‘Bumblebee’. From left, medical physicist Jonathan Haynes, senior radiotherapist Natalie Clarke, radiotherapist Narisha Govender, case manager Sharona Singh and radiographer Yogin Pillay.
A STATE of the art radiation therapy machine has been installed at the Life Hilton Hospital, bringing “sophisticated cancer technology” directly to oncology patients in the Midlands.
Life Hilton launched the new machinery, the Novalis Tx™ Stereotactic RadioSurgery unit, at an official opening party last Thursday, however, the unit has been used to treat patients since June this year.
A statement by Life Hilton Hospital on the introduction of the unit said the machine can provide advanced radiation therapy to cancer patients with difficult to reach tumours.
The Novalis Tx™, fondly named, “Bumblebee” by the Radiotherapy Unit staff, is able to shape the radiation beam precisely to a patient’s tumours, so the healthy tissue around the area is not damaged.
“The radiation beam also adapts to the patient’s breathing and other body movements to continuously maintain safe, complete and accurate treatment,” said the statement.
With the sophisticated technology, the beams are able to treat tumours or growths anywhere in the body “from virtually any angle”.
“It offers fast treatment sessions and gives new hope to patients with tumours that were previously considered untreatable.”
The technology was previously only available overseas.
Life Hilton Radiotherapy Unit’s head oncologist, Dr Ziad Seedat, said at the opening of the centre that the new machine meant they could “help as many patients as possible with advanced techniques and fewer sideeffects”.
“This machine is able to reach and treat things that were previously very difficult or almost impossible to treat,” he said.
Seedat said the machine could treat lesions on organs such as the liver, which had been tricky before, as the lesion would move with the organ as the patient breathed.
“The beam is able to track the lesion and treat it while it is in motion.
“We can treat small lung cancers for people who are not fit for surgery,” he said.
He added that the beams destroy cancerous tumours, and in benign growths, they destroy the blood vessels within so it shrinks away and does not have the chance to become malignant.
He said the team of 10 working at the centre all had the same drive and passion to help, and were excited that they could treat people, not only in the Midlands, but from across the country.
He said they had already treated a patient from Nelson Mandela Bay and that this was the second machine of its kind in South Africa, and the only one in KwaZuluNatal.
Life Hilton Radiotherapy head oncologist, Dr Ziad Seedat, and senior radiotherapist, Natalie Clarke, examine scans from the new radiotherapy unit installed at the hospital.