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The future of radiotherapy cancer treatment is here using artificial intelligence (AI)

The Ethos™ radiotherapy system is operational at Life Vincent Pallotti Hospital

World Cancer Day, 4 February 2023 – The Ethos™  radiotherapy system at Life Vincent Pallotti Hospital is giving clinicians and patients in Cape Town further hope for improved treatment outcomes with a more accurate, precise technique using artificial intelligence (AI).

Life Healthcare is the first healthcare provider in Sub-Saharan Africa to invest in the Ethos AI radiotherapy treatment technology which allows radiotherapy specialists to treat cancer patients with adaptive therapy. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a computer performing tasks commonly associated with human intelligence. Humans are coding or programming a computer to act, reason, and learn.1 The Ethos radiotherapy system adapts the treatment plan based on the cancer tumour and the daily anatomical changes in the patient. “We are extremely excited about playing a part in being able to move oncology care forward with the technology”, says Dr Louis Kathan, Life Healthcare’s Chief Medical Officer in South Africa.

The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) annually promotes World Cancer Day and the global theme this year is Uniting our voices and taking action. “We believe that we are playing our part in taking action through our investment in cancer care and treatment. It also contributes to our own goals of moving oncology care forward, and in this instance with the Ethos radiotherapy system, the planning and treatment all happens in one session, making it a faster process compared to existing radiotherapy technology”, he said.

Typically changes to a patient’s treatment plan due to changes in anatomy requires time-consuming re-scanning and re-planning between treatment sessions, which could take up to two days. The Ethos™ radiotherapy adaptive technology allows the treatment plan to be adjusted daily, in real time and the treatment to be planned and administered, all within 20 to 30 minutes, targeting the tumour and reducing radiation dose of healthy tissue.

“We are proud to have acquired the new AI-driven Ethos™ radiotherapy system at Life Vincent Pallotti Hospital which delivers the most accurate, precision radiotherapy treatment in Sub-Saharan Africa. Its patient-friendly design features and leading-edge safety system ensure patients are comfortable, confident and at ease during every stage of their treatment”, he said.

Clinicians globally have waited for the day when they have the ability to adapt radiotherapy treatments to changes in patient anatomy. “The future of radiotherapy cancer treatment is indeed here with the Ethos radiotherapy system driven by artificial intelligence (AI). It’s an exciting time for clinicians and patients. We are proud to move oncology care forward so our patients can look forward to life’s moment”, concluded Dr Kathan.



  1. National Cancer Institute, Artificial Intelligence - NCI (, Internet, Accessed 27 February 2023.


About Life Oncology

Five world-class Life Oncology units in Gauteng, KZN, Free State, Western Cape, and Gaborone (Botswana) deliver the most advanced oncology care in a warm, friendly environment. Substantial investments in technologies have been made to place units at the forefront of advanced treatments in surgical, medical, gynaecological and radiation oncology. Life Oncology units offer tailor-made treatment programmes for each patient, with advanced care for rare and common types of cancer. Life Oncology units are situated in or next to Life Healthcare hospitals, making admission to the hospital oncology wards, if necessary, simple and easy.

About Life Vincent Pallotti Hospital

Life Vincent Pallotti Hospital is a 310-bed facility and provides quality healthcare services at one centrally located facility. These include: 24hr emergency, heart and stroke unit with helipad and free advanced life support response car service; specialist orthopaedic hospital; Life Oncology; Life Renal Dialysis and acute Life Rehabilitation units; voluntary Life Mental Health unit; geriatric and memory clinic; specialist fertility clinic; maternity; neonatal ICU; specialist paediatric unit with ICU; bone and joint infection service; and a full range of surgical and internal medicine services.