Critical cancer treatment reaches more people in Africa

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The Centre International de Cancérologie de Lomé in collaboration with Clinique Autel d’Elie in Lomé, Togo, has treated its first patient with an Elekta Infinity linear accelerator (linac), making quality radiation therapy accessible for thousands of cancer patients

Covid-19 has delayed the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in hospitals around the world. Lockdowns and travel restrictions have prevented the shipping, installation, clinical use and servicing of life-saving radiation therapy systems. Despite this, the West African country Togo has been remarkable in launching the county’s first linac.

According to the WHO, approximately 70 percent of deaths from cancer globally occur in low- and middle-income countries[1]. Some of the most common cancer types, such as breast cancer, cervical cancer, and colorectal cancer have high cure rates when detected early and treated according to best practices.

Elekta Infinity™ is designed to treat these and other cancers and offers reliable image-guidance technology for simple or complex treatments for everyone, everywhere. The device will also allow advanced radiation therapy techniques such as Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT), for higher treatment speed and dose reduction to the patient to become routine.

Clinicians at the center expect VMAT to be used predominantly on all types of cancer but especially prostate. “VMAT’s dose-delivery capability cannot be achieved to the same degree with other techniques such as Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT),” says Dr. Guillaume Faure, director of the center. “VMAT allows any facility to deliver treatments with a quality at least equivalent to IMRT to all patients.”

Bringing the linac to Togo is a testament to the consideration and determination shown by several stakeholders, including the Ministry of Health, Clinique Autel d’Elie, and Elekta’s service personnel. Thanks to this commitment, Centre International de Cancérologie de Lomé’s first patient was treated on January 12, 2021.

Learn how Zambia also introduced radiation therapy

  1. World Health Organisation, Cancer data sheet
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