New machine means more patients can receive treatment


Bellville, Cape Town: On World Radiography Day, Icon Oncology the biggest provider of cancer treatment in the country, celebrated the installation of a brand-new linear acceleration (Linac) at its radiation therapy unit in Bellville. This is good news for people with cancer in the Bellville and the northern suburbs catchment area who need to receive life-saving treatment.


The official commissioning of the machine was celebrated and attended by a group of local oncologists and referring surgeons. The new machine will help these experts to treat more patients using leading-edge technology at the Solway Oncology unit.

Professor Jonathan Jansen cut a ribbon at the commissioning of a new linear accelerator in Cape Town South Africa.

On World Radiography Day Icon Oncology celebrated the official commissioning of a new Varian Halcyon™ Linac at its Solway Oncology Unit in Bellville. To mark the installation Prof. Jonathan Jansen to addressed guests about “Ethics and medicine in a corrupt and divided society.” This was followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by the Icon Oncology EXCO, the oncologists and radiotherapy team resident at the unit.

The incidence of cancer in South Africa is on the rise. Experts predict that by 2030, the number of new cancer cases in sub-Saharan Africa, will be 85% higher compared to 2008¹. “This place an enormous burden on our healthcare system and Icon Oncology is tackling this head-on,” say Icon Oncology COO, Dr. Ernst Marais.


Icon Oncology is the leading provider of radiation and managed care oncology services in the country, providing equipment and expertise in areas where its most needed. The installation of the multi-million-rand Varian Halcyon™ Linac, means that more patients can now access cancer treatment closer to home.


“We place our patients in the centre of our care; we not only provide access to the latest radiation treatment technology, but we also carefully manage their oncology benefits to ensure no benefits are wasted on unnecessary procedures or treatment,” explains Dr Marais.


The Halcyon™ radiotherapy system is engineered to deliver, volumetric modulated radiation therapy (VMAT) technology, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) and RapidArc™ radiotherapy.


“In layman’s terms the biggest benefit of the machine is that it delivers a precise, tightly controlled and focused radiation dose to the tumour, while it minimises the impact on surrounding healthy tissue. The treatment is fast and the linac is designed to move quietly, which means a more relaxed experience for our patients,” says Dr Marais.

Team of radiation oncologists and radiation therapists pictured with a linear accelerator.

The brand-new linear accelerator means that more patients can receive life-saving treatment. Front left to right, oncologists, Dr Ilse Fourie, Dr George Loots, Dr Anne-Marie Visser and Dr Charleen Muller. From left to right in the centre is the resident radiation therapy team, Charlana Fabricius, Michelle Stassen, Alet Hambridge, Saida Abbas, Mohau Mashaba (back).

The new Linac installation at the Bellville unit is part of an ongoing multi-million Rand investment in new technology which ensures that Icon Oncology and its network of oncologists remain at the forefront of cancer care.

“Giving more people access to life-saving cancer treatment is our purpose and why we continue to expand our fleet of 29 linacs countrywide,” concludes Dr Marais.

Citation: Finestone E, Wishnia J. Estimating the burden of cancer in South Africa. S. Afr. j. oncol. 2022;6(0), a220.