Innovative technology arrives in Annaba

While in Algeria, the insufficiency of means of fighting cancer is often pointed out, the Ministry of Health announced on Monday the entry into service of high-tech medical devices at the Annaba University Hospital.

“Sterotactic radiotherapy is coming for the first time to the Annaba University Hospital,” the Ministry of Health announced in a statement.

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According to the same source, three patients with lung, brain and bone tumors have already been treated using this technology.

Highly precise, these radiotherapy devices target tumors without damaging healthy cells and organs. The treatment is delivered in three to five sessions, lasting 15 and 20 minutes each, the statement said.

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To master the use of this “innovative” technology, the Ministry of Health pointed out that the staff of the Annaba University Hospital (doctors and technicians) benefited from training provided by medical teams from the Ottawa Cancer Center. (Canada).

Stereotactic radiotherapy: what is it?

Stereotactic radiotherapy is a very high precision radiotherapy technique. It allows to deliver a precision treatment of the order of a millimeter,

According to the European Georges-Pompidou Hospital (HEGP-Paris), it is generally indicated for tumors less than 5 cm.

What differentiates “classic” radiotherapy from stereotactic radiotherapy is that the latter is carried out in fewer sessions (between one to five sessions on average) and that it delivers very strong radiation, much stronger than for conventional radiotherapy.

This type of radiotherapy was previously used exclusively to treat small brain tumours. Today, its main indications, according to the HEGP, are lung cancer, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, localized recurrences of prostate cancer, brain metastases, localized bone metastases and metastases of the adrenal and kidney.

It should be noted, however, that in the majority of cases, stereotactic radiotherapy complements other anticancer treatments and cannot replace conventional techniques (surgery, chemotherapy, conventional radiotherapy, targeted therapies, etc.).

In recent months, Algerian cancer patients and health professionals have been crying out in distress.

“Radiotherapy is practically non-existent (in Algeria). Most of the centers are down (…) The radiotherapy appointments currently given are for the month of August 2023”, lamented the secretary general of the association for the aid of cancer patients El-Amel, Hamid Khettab in an interview with TSA published on August 18.

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