With construction of country’s first Hadron Therapy Centre for cancer treatment in Mumbai, India will join a select group of advanced countries who are making giant strides in tackling the growing scourge of the disease.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday laid the foundation stone of the hadron beam facility as well as 150-bedded women and children care hospital to be run by Tata Memorial Centre.
“The Rs425-crore facility is expected to be ready in less than four years at a five-acre plot acquired from the Haffkine Institute in Parel. Most cancer patients have to receive radiation therapy at some point during their treatment. But traditional methods have limitations and also cause damage to the surrounding tissues. Hadron Beam Therapy can deliver treatment in a more precise manner, such that damage to healthy tissues is reduced,” said Singh.
He said the project has been funded entirely by the Centre through the department of atomic energy, and will be completed in less than four years.
Seventy per cent of all cancer-afflicted patients need radiation therapy after surgery in conjunction with surgery. The patient has to undergo hadron therapy every day or alternate days for up to five weeks. The therapy causes lesser trauma to the patient as compared to conventional radiotherapy.
Every year, 1 million new cancer cases are detected in India of which 40,000 cancer cases occur in children. Dr Rajan Badwe, director of Tata Memorial Hospital said, “Hadron Beam method of radiotherapy scores over the debilitating conventional form of treatment as the charged protons and electrons attack the local tumour by sitting at the site. There is no exit beam and hence lesser scarring and damage to surrounding tissues.”
Badwe said, “While in conventional radiotherapy, the photon beams target the affected tumour as also surrounding parts of the organ. The photon beams enter the site of cancer and exit from opposite side causing damage to surrounding tissue especially if the tumour is in the eye; there is damage to the brain.”
While in the US five weeks of therapy course costs up to Rs1 crore, at Tata Memorial Hospital the facility will be provided free of cost to 60% of patients who cannot afford treatment. The rest will be charged one tenth for the course as compared to the US.
The hadron therapy is particularly effective for skull based cancers like the head and neck, childhood cancers and tumours lodged deep in the abdomen or pelvis which are traditionally resistant to conventional radiotherapy. There are 36 hadron therapy centres worldwide and a total of 93,895 patients had been treated in the past decade.
Hadron beam centre to be country’s first
PM Manmohan Singh on Friday laid the foundation stone of the hadron beam facility as well as 150-bedded women and children care hospital to be run by Tata Memorial Centre.
The Rs425-crore facility is expected to be ready in less than four years. The project will be entirely funded by the central government.