Thursday, October 28

Shot in the arm for cancer treatment

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Equipment to administer targeted radiation and detect the exact position and characteristics of cancer cells were commissioned at a 100-bed cancer hospital in Garia’s Nayabad on Monday.

The new facilities were inaugurated at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Cancer Hospital on Monday. Atin Ghosh, deputy mayor of Calcutta, and Sujit Bose, fire and emergency services minister, were present at the inauguration.

The equipment, which include modern linear accelerators, will help doctors treat more patients daily by reducing the time, Alok Kumar, the hospital’s chief medical physicist and radiation safety officer, said.

Rana Danda, the head of the hospital’s nuclear medicine department, said the machine for therapeutic use of nuclear medicine was available in only one other hospital in the city, where the waiting time ran into months.

“We will introduce the high dose radio iodine therapy for thyroid cancer. In this, after the surgery to remove the thyroid gland, if it is seen the cancer has spread, the patient is made to drink radioactive iodine and that ablates or burns out all the thyroid cells and thus all traces of cancer,” Danda said.

For this treatment, an isolated ward with a dedicated washroom has been constructed. The waste from the washroom will be stored in a special tank, where it will lose its radioactive property, before being released into the sewer.

Danda said the PET CT scan would be used for improved detection of cancerous cells and their characteristics through nuclear medicine. “The PET CT is highly sensitive. We marry images we get from PET CT scan with images of normal CT scan to get a composite picture… this way we provide the treating doctors more indepth information about the cancerous tissues so that they can devise the best treatment plan.” “The linear accelerators use a technology called VMAT or volumetric arc therapy,” hospital director Ashis Mukherjee said. This allows us to complete radiation fractions in two minutes, which used to take 1520 minutes in old equipment. This means we can treat more patients daily.”.

Source: Telegraph India

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