Cancer care in the country has received a major boost following the arrival of Cyberknife, a machine used in specialised treatment for the chronic disease.
The machine acquired by the Kenyatta University Teaching, Research and Referral Hospital (KUTRRH) will be used for personalised treatments of various types of cancer including brain tumors, head and neck cancer, lung, breast, spinal, liver, pancreas and prostate cancer.
Kenya Kenya now becomes the second country to own the machine after Egypt as it awaits installation and commissioning in six weeks time.
“The delivery of the CyberKnife today at KUTRRH is a milestone in the provision of robotic radiosurgery treatment. It treats without affecting adjacent cells.” Prof Olive Mugenda, the hospital’s Board Chairperson said
“This valuable precision nuclear medicine for cancerous & non-cancerous tumors is a game changer for Kenya and the region.” She added
The Cyberknife technology administers non-invasive treatment for cancerous and non-cancerous tumours. It is designed to use robotics in conjunction with image guidance technology to precisely deliver pulses of high dose that target tumors and other abnormal tissues anywhere in the body.
“The Cyberknife allows patients to lie comfortably on the procedure table without anesthesia while the robotic arm moves, without touching them, to treat all areas of the tumor. Recovery is often immediate, given its low risk of complications and damage to health tissue.” KUTRRH said on its official website
The machine is an additional treatment equipment for the hospital which also hosts the Integrated Molecular Imaging Centre attending to at least 20 cancer patients daily.
Health experts argue the cyberknife treatments are much more effective and cost effective as compared to Intensely Modulated radiation Therapy (IMRT).
“Giving 4 treatments with the Cyberknife is cheaper than giving 42 treatments with IMRT.” Sean P Collins a radiation Oncologist at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital says.
Ministry of Health Data shows cancer is the third leading cause of death in Kenya after infectious and cardiovascular diseases.