Apollo Hospitals inaugurates Proton Cancer Centre

Prathap C Reddy with Preetha Reddy at the launch.

With the launch of Apollo Proton Cancer Centre (APCC), India has become the 16th country in the world to offer proton therapy for cancer.

The centre offers proton therapy with pencil-beam technology that provides a high degree of precision. APCC is a 150-bed integrated cancer care centre. It has the Intensity Modulated Proton Therapy and Image-Guided Radiotherapy component.

At present, there are 72-odd facilities operational across the globe, according to Rakesh Jalali, medical director, APCC.

“Around 35 patients are waiting for treatment. The process of planning is on for seven patients,” he told reporters on Thursday. Around 60 to 70% cancer patients need radiation. Through proton beam therapy, which is a form of radiation, zero dose beyond the tumour is achievable, he pointed out.

APCC offered proton therapy with pencil-beam technology that provided high degree of precision.

It has the Intensity Modulated Proton Therapy and Image-Guided Radiotherapy component. APCC is a 150-bed integrated cancer care centre.

“Many western European and American countries say that proton should be the standard of care for any child, who needs radiation,” he said. It has become important in brain tumours, sarcomas, solid cancers and paediatric cancers, he observed.

“Ultra precise dose painting to the most complex tumour shape can be achieved with the proton beam technology,” he said.

“What it means really to the patients is the expansion of the indications. It is not only for small brain tumours and paediatric cancers but can also treat cancers of the liver, head and neck, lung, breast, gastrointestinal and pelvic tumours. But not all need proton therapy.

“It depends on the type of tumour, its age and extent, how critical it is located to the adjacent structure and what is the likely chance that proton will improve the survival and cure,” he explained.

Reducing risk

Proton therapy can be utilised for young adults and teenagers to reduce the risk of second cancer, he said.

There are 200,000 patients being treated in the world with particle beam therapy.

Of this, 180,000 to 185,000 are with proton, he said. Prathap C. Reddy, executive chairman of Apollo Hospitals Group, said the centre has come up at a cost of ₹1,300 crore.

Dr. Jalali said that the entire treatment would cost ₹25 to ₹30 lakh for a patient. Preetha Reddy, vice chairperson, Apollo Hospitals Group, spoke.

Treatment plan

For the past six months, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been helping doctors at the Apollo Hospitals to make a treatment plan, said T. Raja, senior oncologist, Apollo Cancer Institute.

“AI is now catching up in healthcare. It is able to make as precise a diagnosis as possible by using data,” he said. AI, an emerging technology, can give answers for 12 to 14 cancers, he said.

“Once all features of a patient are presented such as age, size of tumour, type and grade, the machine analyses the data, looks at all guidelines in the world, published literature and tries to give us comprehensive treatment plan that this patient has to be treated with surgery, needs or does not need chemotherapy.

“It participates in the decision making but the doctor makes the final decision,” he explained.

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Printable version | Apr 25, 2022 12:06:12 pm |