by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | November 27, 2017
The Romanian government has agreed to install Elekta linear accelerators (linacs) for cancer treatment at five facilities throughout the country.
Romanian Minister of Health Florian Bodog signed the agreement in a ceremony held in the main government office, permitting the replacement of obsolete cobalt systems in exchange for one Elekta Infinity and four Elekta Synergy Platform linear accelerators, with the additional implementation of software for treatment planning and oncology information systems.
“Because it is not possible to modulate the radiation dose rate with cobalt-based radiation therapy, current standards typically consider cobalt-based treatment for palliative rather than curative cancer care,” Jaroslaw Lange, Elekta's Business Unit Manager for the region, told HCB News. “The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recommends replacing cobalt-based systems with linear accelerators.”
Romania retains one of the lowest rates of accelerator penetration per 1 million people in the European Union.
The equipment will be installed at the Constanta, Galati and Baia Mare county hospitals, the Bucharest Oncology Institute, and the Elias Emergency University Hospital.
The addition of the linacs will allow physicians to deliver high-accuracy radiotherapy for tumor treatment and ensure improved workflow. They will also be closer to the homes of patients, ensuring higher accessibility and throughput.
“With these linear accelerators, cutting-edge radiation therapy using volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) will be available in a public health care setting for the first time,” Lange said.
Elekta recently agreed
to install the first-ever radiation therapy system in the Kingdom of Bhutan at the National Referral Hospital, the largest hospital in the kingdom.
Linear accelerators were first licensed for use in Romania 15 years ago. The recently-ordered Elekta accelerators have been licensed since 2008.
The Romanian Government did not respond for comment.