Hi-tech radiation machine first in GCC

BAHRAIN has become the first country in the GCC – and second in the Arab world, after Turkey – to offer a new, ground-breaking treatment of cancer.

This comes as a BD2 million cancer treating machine was inaugurated at King Hamad University Hospital (KHUH), marking yet another medical milestone for the kingdom.

The Magnetic Resonance Linear Accelerator (MR Linac) provides “personalised radiation therapy” to patients by combining two technologies – an MRI scanner and linear accelerator – to precisely locate tumours, tailor the shape of X-ray beams in real time and accurately deliver doses of radiation to moving tumours.

Bahrain also becomes one among the 10 countries to possess this asset, which according to experts, is both efficient and tolerant.

The details of the machine were revealed by KHUH Commander Major General Dr Shaikh Salman bin Attiyatallah Al Khalifa at a Press conference held in the hospital premises yesterday.

“Out of our commitment and quest to provide modern and comprehensive healthcare for cancer patients, the MR Linac unit has recently been launched at the Bahrain Oncology Centre, after it was previously agreed with Elekta company to purchase and supply it to the centre as the first device of this type at the regional level,” he said.

The machine costs BD2m and the building housing it costs another BD40,000.

“It offers precision radiation therapy – the most effective way of targeting the tumour-bearing region with a highly focused and precisely targeted beam of radiation, which not only treats the tumour but also saves the normal organs for the best benefit,” he said.

“Cancer is different in every individual, so the requirement of precision radiation therapy and the technique used to deliver is also different, which is ‘personalised radiation therapy’.

“With such high-precision radiation therapy machines available at the centre, we are able to perform many modern techniques in cancer treatment.

“MR Linac is a unique combination of advanced imaging technique, that is a powerful MRI (of diagnostic capability) on board with a linear accelerator unit.”

Also present at the Press conference were centre’s director and Bahrain National Tumour Board head consultant haematologist and oncologist Professor Elias Fadhel and consultant radiology oncologist Dr Ashish Rastogui.

The machine has been in operation since June 27 and the first patient was a 30-year-old Bahraini man with multiple myeloma – a cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell.

“We were able to treat the patient by seeing actually where the dose is going and when the therapy was going on the MRI was constantly running and scanning, which is the biggest advantage,” said Dr Rastogui.

“If we have deep-seated tumours, such as the prostate cancer, or that of the rectum or the urinary bladder, this machine is effective, because the tumours in these places keep moving.

“With the scanning we can change the field even while the treatment is ongoing.

“Other areas are the pancreas, lungs and liver which move with respiration as well as the brain where the tumour can be nicely seen.”

One of the advantages of the machine was soft tissue imaging, with a majority of radiation therapy until now dependent on bone imagery.

“Soft tissue imaging with MR Linac makes a huge difference, targeting the therapies to the tune of 1mm precision and also tracking the tumour in its right size and shape as well as the organs around it.

“If any of these organs move, we can re-plan the therapy accordingly.

“It is applicable to tumours which have been previously eradicated, those that are in deep locations of the body and those are constantly moving.”

Prof Fadhel said the KHUH always sought to localise the latest technologies in the field of oncology diagnosis and treatment, in addition to opening the way for qualified Bahraini staff.

“We are continuing to work towards developing the quality of services in all departments of the centre,” he said.

“It is worth noting that the centre is the second in the Arab world to use this technology and the first in the Middle East to use the (MR Linac) device, in addition to two of the latest linear accelerators that rely on tomography technology, which were launched previously.”

 

Source: https://www.gdnonline.com/Details/950355/Hi-tech-radiation-machine-first-in-GCC

 

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