Steven Biko Academic Hospital in South Africa expands its offer with AlignRT
The Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa has just announced the installation of two AlignRT systems for their Radiation Oncology Unit.
Dr Sheynaz Bassa, Radiation Oncologist, says they chose the system from Vision RT so they could expand their offerings. “We currently offer VMAT, radiosurgery and conformal radiation therapy,” he said. “But with AlignRT, we plan to offer Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH), to spare the heart during breast radiotherapy, and in RT for any chest malignancies. We also wish to implement Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT) which is high dose radiotherapy for tumours in the liver, lung, prostate.”
AlignRT is a contactless and non-invasive technology that uses proprietary 3D stereo cameras to monitor the patient’s surface in real-time during radiation treatment with sub-millimetric accuracy. This ensures radiation is delivered exactly as planned.
DIBH is a technique to move a patient’s heart further away from the radiation beam during treatment for left breast cancer. The proximity of the left breast to the heart leaves the heart vulnerable to radiation exposure. This has been shown, in some cases, to lead to serious long-term cardiac complications¹,2.
Steve Biko Academic Hospital currently has five newly commissioned Elekta VersaHD linacs, each being used to treat around 40 patients a day.
Dr Bassa says that, in addition to being able to deliver more types of treatments, their investment in AlignRT will improve efficiency and throughput. “This has allowed us to implement newer protocols which allow for precise radiotherapy delivery, in shorter courses while sparing normal tissues – breast, prostate cancer. This allows us to treat more patients in a shorter period of time. This is more convenient for patients as well as for the department. Reduced treatment times means shorter waiting times.”
“We have had to gradually implement this program as it was entirely new, as well as integrate it into our current experience and workflows, Vision RT has been supportive in assisting us in this regard and will continue to support us as we move forward.”
- Darby et al. Risk of Ischemic Heart Disease in Women after Radiotherapy for Breast Cancer. N Engl J Med 2013; 368:987-998
- Zagar et al. Prospective Assessment of Deep Inspiration Breath Hold to Prevent Radiation Associated Cardiac Perfusion Defects in Patients With Left-Sided Breast Cancer J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2015 ;93:3S 2027