cancer treatment machines
Photo Credit: WC Govt Health and Wellness MEC Dr French Mbombo

Groote Schuur Hospital got a hope-boosting upgrade recently thanks to a life-saving cancer treatment machine. Better news? Another hospital in the province will also get the incredible tech!


Western Cape, South Africa (28 June, 2023)—The City of Cape Town’s Groote Schuur hospital got a hope-boosting upgrade recently—one of two life-saving cancer treatment machines in the entire province. The new linear accelerator (LINAC) machine has already inspired hope for treatment options at Groote Schuur, while the other LINAC machine is set to lay down roots at Tygerberg Hospital.

There are a number of features that make the LINAC machines so incredible, not least that they avail treatment options that may have not been accessible for as many patients. Other hopeful features include their ability to destroy cancer cells using high-energy particles and that they help treatment time be cut down dramatically to visits of 30 minutes to an hour.

Swift and efficient, the machines are also said to lessen side effects and provide different advanced treatment options for breast and lung cancer patients, as announced by the Western Cape Government.

Professor Jeannette Parkes who heads up the Department of Radiology Oncology shared with excitement:

“We are excited to unveil this state-of-the-art machine which will allow advanced radiotherapy techniques such as volumetric modulated arc therapy, radiosurgery, and stereotactic body radiotherapy. This means that many patients with brain lesions who previously were treated with surgery, or not treated, can now be treated.

“It also will allow treatment of lesions elsewhere in the body, allowing better local control of paraspinal tumours, and certain types of tumours in the spine, liver and lungs.  It also has electrons, so superficial treatments can be done.

“This feature is not available on our other machines. It is also the only LINAC at the hospital with high energy, which means we can treat large breast patients with ease. With its flattening filter free (FFF) beams, very high dose rates are possible, which means very fast patient treatment, less time for patients on the treatment bed, increased patient comfort and higher patient throughput. It can treat the complete range of patients, from very basic palliative therapy to very advanced, specific, and accurate stereotactic therapy.”

Better yet for Groote Schuur, the new machinery came with other positive installments, including a CT-stimulator, orthovoltage treatment and brachytherapy (a radiotherapy technique).

Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, the province’s Minister of Health and Wellness added:

“The unveiling of the new medical linear accelerator as well as the additions of the brachytherapy theatre, orthovoltage treatment and new CT-simulator – will greatly capacitate the province to continue to offer modern healthcare services for the treatment of cancer. I look forward to the positive impact these investments will have on our patients going forward at both tertiary healthcare facilities.”

Sources: Western Cape Government 
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Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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