On Thursday, the much-anticipated Proton Therapy facility at the Tata Memorial Center’s Kharghar campus was officially opened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
60% of the patients who require the cutting-edge proton beam treatment will receive it free at the centre, the first in a public setting in India. A third of the Rs. 30 lakh price tag in the private sector would be paid by the remaining 40% at a reduced rate.
According to Tata Memorial Centre director Dr. Rajendra Badwe, “We will begin providing the therapy next week.” Children will begin receiving treatment first, he said, and university research into how the proton beam affects various adult cancers will follow.
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Benefits of Proton Therapy:
X-rays (photons) are used in standard radiation therapy to administer radiation, and they frequently have an adverse effect on healthy tissues close to the cancer location. However, high-energy protons can concentrate most of their energy to a single location, lowering the possibility of side effects and making it a safer option for kids.
There are 39 Proton Therapy centers worldwide, according to TMC physicians, and there is growing evidence that protons are effective against a variety of malignancies, including those of the breast, oesophagus, gastrointestinal tract, head and neck, liver, lung, pancreatic, prostate, spine, soft tissue, and lymphoma.
Not all cancer patients require proton therapy; research is being done in various nations to determine whether proton radiation is more effective than conventional radiation therapy. Furthermore, only 10% to 15% of Indian cancer patients would benefit from proton treatment. Dr. Sudeep Gupta, the facility’s director, stated that research to determine which patient groups would benefit most from the treatment would start within the next 10 days.
Former PM Manmohan Singh lay the cornerstone for the Tata proton facility in 2014 in the Haffkine neighbourhood near to TMC’s Parel hospital. However, the facility was transferred to the Kharghar site due to capacity limitations. Three years ago, it was prepared for inauguration, but the outbreak of Covid caused a further delay.
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