A state-of-the-art new high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy system has been introduced at Netcare Parklands Hospital in Overport, Durban.
The new Varian Bravos HDR afterloader system, which is the first of its kind in KwaZulu-Natal, is an integrated radiation treatment planning and delivery system, delivering a powerful and localised form of radiation therapy.
“Brachytherapy is an important treatment modality for cervical, endometrial, and oesophageal cancers, among many others. Netcare Parklands Hospital is the only private health facility in the province providing this type of cancer care and we have extensive experience with brachytherapy treatment over many years,” says Prea Naidoo, Netcare’s regional radiation manager in KwaZulu-Natal.
“Brachytherapy has demonstrated improved survival rates globally, both as a stand-alone treatment or in combination with other treatments such as external beam radiation therapy, chemotherapy and/or surgery where a combination of treatments is determined to be clinically appropriate for the individual.
“This advanced Bravos afterloader system has been engineered with an emphasis on patient safety and convenience, with the whole process being more streamlined. The innovative technology enables very precise and quick verification of the positioning to ensure the brachytherapy is applied to the exact target area for optimal effectiveness. This means that a high radiation treatment dose can be delivered with minimal impact on healthy surrounding tissues and that treatment sessions are often shorter,” Naidoo says.
This type of brachytherapy involves positioning a high dose rate radioactive source directly at the site where cancerous (malignant) cells are inside the body, this new technology enables the radiation oncologist to treat the cancer with a higher total dose of radiation in a smaller, precisely targeted area for a shorter time, compared to external beam radiation.
“People in the province now have access to this state-of-the-art treatment for a wide range of cancers at the dedicated cancer care centre based at Netcare Parklands Hospital, which is staffed with an experienced cancer care team working closely together with the radiation oncologists.”
General manager of Netcare Parklands Hospital, Fuad Salie, points out that the new brachytherapy system further strengthens the existing extensive cancer care services at the hospital, available to the communities it serves.
“Every advance in medical technology that we can harness in the fight against cancer represents hope for safer, more effective treatments and better outcomes. Our facility has extensive experience with brachytherapy and the radiation unit also offers external beam radiation therapy, intensity modulated radiotherapy, volumetric arc radiotherapy, stereotactic irradiation and radioisotope therapy all under one roof.
“Our cancer care services also include chemotherapy, various types of surgery, as well as a range of support services including personalised guidance by a trained patient navigator throughout a patient’s entire treatment journey,” Salie says.
“A CANSA support group to assist patients in coping with the emotional toll of fighting cancer and a Look Good Feel Better programme to help with managing the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment, were unfortunately disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however these will be re-introduced as soon as it is practical and safe to do so.
“Every cancer journey is unique, and while this can often be a most difficult time for the individuals who are impacted, we strive to ensure a tranquil, caring and convenient service to holistically support each person on their custom-designed treatment path,” Naidoo concludes.
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For more information on this media release, please contact MNA at the contact details listed below:
Issued by: MNA on behalf of Netcare Parklands Hospital
Contact: Martina Nicholson, Meggan Saville, Estene Lotriet-Vorster or Clementine Forsthofer
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
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