Icon Oncology and Limbus AI work together to pioneer radiation AI software in SA

Icon Oncology, a leader in value-based care (VBC), today announced a partnership with Limbus AI ??. The agreement will introduce cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) -driven software, designed for use in radiation oncology, to southern Africa.

“We are proud to announce the implementation of Limbus Contour software across our national network of radiation oncology facilities. Icon Oncology has always been at the forefront of using new generation of technology and software. We believe that Limbus AI ™ supports our strategy of using technology to deliver the best possible results for our patients, ”says Dr. Ernst Marais, COO of Icon Oncology.

Head and neck organs at risk (OARs)

Head and neck organs at risk (OARs)


At Limbus AI, our goal is to design tools that work. Using our own clinical experience as a guide, we have designed the Limbus Contour to save time and improve quality by allowing clinicians to focus on patient care. We believe that our partnership with Icon Oncology will help create much-needed capacity in the South African region to meet the growing demand for access to cancer treatment, ”said Dr Giambattista, Founder and Medical Director of Limbus AI.

The software is designed to reduce the planning time it takes before a patient can start radiation therapy, explains Ivan Oelofse, National Medical Physics manager for Icon Oncology.

Radiation therapy for cancer begins with a CT scan, in which radiation therapists put the patient in exactly the position to be used to treat their cancer. The scan creates 200 to 300 cross-sectional images of the organ containing the tumor.

Pelvic organs at risk (OARs)

Pelvic organs at risk (OARs)


The planning process involves complex calculations, and we make a treatment plan based on a process called contour mapping – an extremely accurate drawing and mapping of organs at risk (OARs) when high doses of radiation are delivered to a tumor. This ensures that we can avoid damaging healthy tissue and only target the treatment area, ”says Oelofse.

Thoracic organs at risk (OARs)

Thoracic organs at risk (OARs)

What sets Limbus Contour apart from other contour mapping software is that it uses this information as well as models based on a large database of patient scans to automatically draw critical organs and structures. It also uses deep-learning-based auto-segmentation, which greatly reduces the workload when planning radiation therapy.

“In cancer treatment, timing is crucial, and the software will help our radiation therapy teams improve and streamline the contour process. This reduces the time it takes to get our patients to the planning department and creates greater coherence in drawing and mapping risk organs.” says Oelofse.

Icon Oncology ran an intensive trial during 2021 to identify a software partner for its 27 radiation therapy units in the country. “Our evidence shows that the Limbus AI solution will provide the necessary accuracy and time savings that allow for greater capacity on our devices,” said Oelofse, who led the Icon Oncology trial.

Our decision is also supported by independent tests, which show that Limbus can speed up the contour mapping process by as much as 80 to 90% with an accuracy similar to manual mapping, previously the only best practice.

“We are a leader in dealing with the growing cancer burden in southern Africa by ensuring the highest quality, cost-effective cancer treatment for the largest number of patients. To this end, we will continue to innovate and collaborate with companies such as Limbus AI der, which will help us realize this vision, ”says Marais.

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