The Radiation Oncology service of the Dr. Negrín University Hospital of Gran Canaria has treated approximately 26,000 patients since the first radiotherapy treatment with a linear accelerator was performed on a cancer patient 20 years ago.
The Ministry of Health of the Government of the Canary Islands reported yesterday in a statement that on November 20, 2000, two linear accelerators with basic benefits began to work in the Radiation Oncology service of the hospital center. Currently, the Dr. Negrín Hospital has six linear accelerators with the highest performance, including a robotic accelerator, the Cyberknife, which was the first to be acquired in the public health system nationwide.
The advances experienced in recent years, both in technology and in knowledge, together with the involvement of hospital center professionals, has allowed the evolution of radiotherapy treatment, raising it to high quality levels, with encouraging results for both patients regarding cancer control and quality of life.
This technology allows better cancer control and improved quality of life
On the other hand, simple external radiotherapy treatments (2D and 3D treatments) have given way to highly complex treatments that allow the tumor volume to be irradiated while preserving the surrounding healthy tissues.
Specifically, it has gone from using between two and four fields per session, to multiple fields with variation in the intensity of radiation during the session. Treatments are performed using image control, which allows the tumor position to be verified at the time of irradiation.
The Ministry has pointed out that all these advances have made it possible to increase the doses administered to tumors, achieving an increase in the control of the disease and reducing toxicity, as well as long-term side effects. It should be noted that the treatments have gone from lasting between five and seven weeks to three, and sometimes even just one day.
On the other hand, in these 20 years another irradiation technique has also been developed, brachytherapy, in which the irradiation source is placed near / within the tumor. This treatment has been developed with the highest quality standards, using the MRI available in the service for planning. This technique is used alone or in combination with external radiotherapy, achieving excellent results, especially in gynecological, breast and prostate tumors.
Advances in this equipment allow reducing toxicity and side effects
Health recalls that the comprehensive treatment of cancer patients has been a constant in these years, developing work areas for systemic treatments in Day Hospital, patient support -nutrition, pain-, as well as others such as hyperthermia, has recently started.
The Negrín Radiation Oncology service is a national benchmark in techniques such as intraoperative radiotherapy, of special relevance in breast cancer, in brachytherapy techniques, especially gynecological and prostate, and in SBRT treatments in combination with immunotherapy.