The official opening of the new machine was attended by oncologists, referring specialists and business leaders from Icon Oncology and Elekta. This new technology will help oncologists to treat a greater number of patients with advanced tools, further enhancing the standard of care offered at the Benoni Oncology Centre.
Icon Oncology COO, Dr Ernst Marais, says the burden of cancer in South Africa continues to increase: “Year-on-year our data shows a significant rise in new cancer cases in country. This challenge weighs heavily on our healthcare system. Icon Oncology is proactively addressing this burden and is dedicated to delivering quality equipment and expertise to areas of greatest need.”
The installation of the multi-million-rand Elekta Synergy® linac is a significant investment as it allows more patients to access vital cancer treatment. The linac is equipped with Stereotactic and Volumetric modulated arc therapy capabilities and brings much needed treatment alternatives to the East Rand also ensuring greater treatment capacity. This means more patients can access quality treatment closer to home.
The investment also includes software upgrades which deliver greater treatment options and the refurbishment of the second bunker at the unit.
“The Elekta Synergy linac offers departments the ideal combination for success. Utilising Elekta’s best-in-class MLC, Agility, hospitals can treat highly conformal SRS and SBRT cases and complex anatomies with ease. I can’t wait to see what this talented group accomplishes with this therapy system in helping deliver high quality care to patients in Benoni and beyond,” says William Starbuck, Elekta’s clinical marketing manager, Asia Pacific.
Dr Rudi Mare, a radiation oncologist at ABJ Oncology who treats patients at the centre says, one of the most significant advantages of the Elekta Synergy® Linac is its precision when treating difficult to reach tumours: “The new machine can administer a precise, tightly focused radiation dose tailored to the shape of the tumour, while minimizing the impact on surrounding healthy tissue. Additionally, the machine's fast treatment time means an improved experience for our patients.”
Manikandan Bala, Elekta’s senior vice president - TIMEA and Asia Pacific, managing director India and South Africa, said: “With this addition to the South African market, a new chapter in advanced precision cancer treatments begins. The technology brings hope to patients and their families, it deepens our ties with the Icon Group, a care provider focused on delivering the best clinical care, and it furthers Elekta’s Access 2025 vision – a world where everyone has access to the best cancer care.”
The new linac installation at the Benoni unit is part of an ongoing multi-million rand investment in new technology which ensures that Icon Oncology and its network of oncologists will remain at the forefront of cancer care.
“Giving more people access to life-saving cancer treatment is our purpose and why we continue to expand our fleet of linacs countrywide. Our expansion plans for Gauteng include two more linacs before the end of 2023,” concludes Dr Marais.