AIIMS Raipur to soon offer Brachytherapy for Cancer Patients
RAIPUR: Bringing major relief to cancer patients in the state All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Raipur (AIIMS Raipur) is all set to start Brachytherapy for cancer patients. New supportive therapy will reduce the time and cost for cancer treatment in Chhattisgarh. Availability of this therapy in AIIMS will be a great relief for poor patients as they will get it at nominal cost or even free in some cases.
Brachytherapy is a new generation radiation therapy used in cancer treatment worldwide. It places a radioactive sources in a metallic type capsule inside the patient to prevent cancer cells and shrink tumors. This also helps prevent the radioactive material from moving to other parts of the cancer patient's body.
With higher dose of a radioactive substance, a doctor can treat certain types of cancers in less duration with Brachytherapy. According to Dr Karan Peepre, Brachytherapy is widely used in cervix, breast, head, neck, rectum, eye, skin or any other type of surface cancer. Brachytherapy reduces the total time period in the treatment. It uses a dedicated computer programming done by the system engineers. Cancer stage, treatment time period and dose will be decided with the help of all the information available through programming and different reports.
In this therapy, Permanent implants put radioactive capsule directly into the tumor using a special delivery device. This is usually done with ultrasound and/or x-ray imaging to ensure accurate placement of the capsule. Temporary implants use needles, catheters or special applicators.
After the device's accurate position is confirmed, the radiation sources are inserted. This is called 'afterloading' in the treatment process. The oncologist may insert and remove the material by hand after placing the delivery device or the oncologist may use a computer-controlled remote afterloading machine to insert the material in a cancer patients.
Medical imaging helps position the material inside the body to treat the tumor in the most effective way. A computer programme calculates the source position and the amount of time needed to deliver the desired radiation dose. It is considered safer as compared to previous methods for both the patient and the doctor-technician team.
A dedicated building for Brachytherapy under the department of Radiotherapy is coming up in the AIIMS. Once ready, the therapy will be available for the patients. The treatment will be given with the help of four medical physicists and doctors in the department. AIIMS is in the process to propose a low cost package for the therapy. It will be almost free for certain beneficiaries including BPL patients.
Prof (Dr.) Nitin M. Nagarkar, Director, AIIMS Raipur hoped that new therapy will bridge the technological gap available in the AIIMS for cancer patients. 'We are committed to deliver highly specialized treatment with the lowest possible cost. Brachytherapy is one step towards this direction. We will provide more such facilities in the coming months in other super-specialized departments very soon', he added.