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High-tech machine to cut radiotherapy treatment time at Cape hospital

The duration of radiotherapy treatment at Groote Schuur Hospital has been reduced.

A linear accelerator (LINAC) at Groote Schuur Hospital used for radiation therapy. Picture: Kevin Brandt/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The duration of radiotherapy treatment at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town has been reduced to ten minutes per patient, thanks to the addition of a new high-tech machine.

The hospital's oncology department say this will speed up the turn-around time for treating cancer patients.

At a cost of R45 million, the oncology department now boasts a new high-tech radiotherapy machine.

Radiotherapists at the hospital say the new machine will speed up the radiotherapy treatment rate for cancer patients from about 45 minutes to 10 minutes per patient. It is also expected to be more successful than the two existing machines in treating cancer patients because it is more accurate and can pinpoint tumours more clearly.

Young children will also be able to be treated at the unit. Oncology head professor Jeannette Parkes says: "We can accommodate children as young as 18 months or two-years-old."

The hospital expects that 1,500 new patients will now receive treatment at the facility every year.