Uganda Cancer Institute has flagged off the installation of the TrueBeam radiotherapy machine, the first of a kind in Africa. The machine which has been purchased by the government of Uganda at 3.2 million US dollars is an addition to two other radiotherapy machines that are used for treatment in cancer.
“Once the machine starts operation in December 2020, cancer Treatment will greatly improve as this machine provides image-guided stereotactic radiosurgery and radiotherapy with high precision to treat tumors and lesions in various parts of the body, including lungs, breasts, head, and neck,” Dr. Jackson Orem- Executive Director Uganda Cancer Institute.
Many Ugandans have been yearning for this kind of treatment that they have been receiving form AghaKhan Hospital Nairobi but now the Institute has been able to acquire even a more sophisticated machine than the one in Nairobi since this TrueBeam is the first of a kind in Africa.
The machine is being installed by engineers from Turkey who were able to arrive in the country over the weekend. The machine will be operated by a team of trained oncologists who have been specifically trained on this machine in Isreal.
The Executive Director further appreciated the government for enabling these engineers to come to the country and install the machine despite the COVID-19 pandemic something that indicates that the government takes cancer care very seriously.
Speaking at the handover ceremony for the installation of the machine, the Engineers represented by Mr. Isaac Shashec promised to deliver work as expected on this first unique project in Africa.
What is the Truebeam Radiotherapy Machine?
TrueBeam radiotherapy device consists of two main components: a beam-producing system for producing photon, electron, and diagnostic X-ray radiation, and a control panel.
The system is equipped with six rotational couches, a motion management interface (MMI), and a visual coaching device. Furthermore, it contains an entire suite of Cone-Beam (CB) CT (CBCT) imaging including 4D CBCT, gated CBCT imaging, short ARC CBCT, extended length CBCT, and multi-scan CBCT acquisition.
Why the Truebeam Radiotherapy Machine?
TrueBeam radiotherapy system helps patients to heal in fewer sessions such as one to five for a patient compared to 20 to 40 sessions of conventional radiation therapy (dependent upon the type of tumor). Shorter sessions lower the risk of side effects in patients.
Planned treatment can be customized and synchronized in real-time according to the patient’s condition during radiotherapy by dynamic imaging enhanced by 2D, 3D, and 4D imaging capabilities of the device.
The motion management interface allows clinicians to know the exact position of treatment delivery. This improves the precision and accuracy of the treatment. The CBDT technologies allow for better imaging of moving targets such as lung and abdomen, advancing breath-hold stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), as well as extracranial radiosurgery.
The system can be used to provide various types of radiation treatments. These include intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), SBRT, and RapidArc radiotherapy.
Author: Moses Echodu
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