Cancer patients across the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Africa will soon have easy access to an advanced treatment option with Apollo Hospitals launching Proton Beam Therapy Centre in India. The Centre, first of its kind anywhere in South East Asia, Africa and Middle East, will benefit over 3 billion people and lead to significant outcomes in tackling cancer and the side-effects of cancer therapy. Apollo Hospitals develop best practices and treatment protocols for their Proton Center and will commence operations by 2017.
A major milestone in the fight against cancer, proton beam therapy, or proton therapy, is successfully being used in diagnosing and treating tumours with high precision, improved results and minimum impact on the healthy tissues in the surrounding area. The advanced radiation technique is proved to reduce short- and long-term side effects and improve quality of life for the patient before, during and after treatment.
“Proton therapy is particularly appropriate for the treatment of cancers of the prostate, liver, lungs, eye and brain as well as tumours close to the brain stem and spinal cord. It can lead to excellent outcomes even in advanced stages during which most cancers are diagnosed, and also in treating paediatric cancers. Proton therapy is particularly of significance to the Gulf region where an alarming increase in cancer cases is predicted,” said Dr. Prathap C Reddy, CEO, Apollo Hospitals.
The GCC states are forecast to see a 150-200% increase in cancer rates by 2030 – the highest expected increase in the world, according to medical experts at the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Countries Bureau. Cancers of the lung and prostate are the most common cancers among males in the region.
“While standard radiation has advanced remarkably in recent years, proton therapy offers a new level of safety and efficacy. X-rays used in conventional radiation are composed of photons and electrons, which deliver radiation not only to the targeted tumour but also to the adjoining healthy tissues. On the other hand, protons deposit the majority of their energy within a precisely controlled zone, directly in the tumour with minimum impact on the surrounding tissues,” explained Dr Reddy.
The Proton Beam Therapy Centre in Apollo Chennai uses the most advanced solutions from the world-leading IBA (Ion Beam Applications), and Philips, a leading provider of image-guided therapies. Proton beams need to be deployed in conjunction with high quality imaging to ensure precise diagnosis and treatment of tumours and reduce related health risks. Advanced MRI, PET and CT imaging technologies help physicians target proton beam precisely to cancer cells. Less impact on healthy tissues and fewer treatment-related complications also enable physicians to deliver high doses of radiation to the tumour.
The Proton Beam Therapy Centre is an important addition to the superior cancer care being provided by Apollo Hospitals to patients from all over the world. The Apollo Oncology Team comprises the best known experts in surgical, medical and radiation Oncology, including advanced minimally invasive and robotic surgeries.
Over 60,000 foreign patients from across the world, including the UAE, Oman and Qatar, have been successfully treated at Apollo Hospitals during the last five years and the numbers are looking up with the affordable, superior quality medical care offered in varied disciplines along with less waiting time and minimum hospital stay.