Improving quality and access to advanced cancer care in India and South Asia

Posted by Samantha Powell on July 11th, 2014 |

Major advances in radiation therapy and radiosurgery for the treatment of cancer are being highlighted in a three-day Oncology Summit taking place in Mumbai from 10-12 July, 2014. Renowned national and international cancer experts from seven countries are meeting to share best practices and exchange knowledge on modern technologies making treatment for cancer patients more precise, accurate and efficient.

The Summit will address a wide spectrum of topics in the sphere of radiotherapy treatment. These include major advances in radiation oncology technology, emerging technologies to treat different types of cancer, expanding cancer care access in India and other countries, regulatory issues in radiotherapy practice and new medical options for cancer patients.

The Summit has been organized by Varian Medical Systems (NYSE:VAR), the leading manufacturer of medical devices and software for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiotherapy, radiosurgery and brachytherapy.

The sessions will also cover clinical practise and new clinical trends, developments in radiation oncology treatments involving Varian’s Edge(TM) radiosurgery suite, stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy (SABR), RapidArc(R) volumetric treatments, motion management techniques, brachytherapy, imaging, treatment planning software, and knowledge-based solutions designed to help clinicians implement quality clinical practices.

The panel discussion during the inaugural session focused on improving access to cancer care in the South Asia region. The panellists emphasized on the importance of quality control in radiotherapy to improve health outcomes and minimise adverse events.

Global and Indian experts present at the Summit include Deepak Khuntia, MD, Radiation Oncologist and Vice President of Medical Affairs, Varian Medical Systems, USA; Professor Carlo Greco, MD, Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, Lisbon, Portugal; John R Adler, MD, Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University and Vice President and Chief of New Clinical Applications, Varian Medical Systems; Avinash U. Sonawane, PhD, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, Government of India; SK Shrivastava, MD, Professor and Head of the Department of Radiation Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Ajai Kumar, MD, founder-chairman and CEO of HealthCare Global Enterprise (HCG) and Professor Ramesh S. Bilimagga, President, Association of Radiation Oncologists of India (AROI). Over 300 oncologists, physicists and radiotherapy practitioners from across India are attending the Summit to share their experiences.

John R Adler, MD, Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University and Vice President and Chief of New Clinical Applications, Varian Medical Systems said “Advances in radiation oncology are changing the way cancer is treated around the world. Modern medical devices have ushered in a period of personalized medicine, enabling doctors to target tumors non-invasively, with high precision. For instance, SABR (stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy) is a form of therapy which differs from traditional radiotherapy where higher doses are given over a shorter number of treatments. It is an emerging treatment for prostate cancer and a viable alternative, in some cases, to more invasive surgical procedures.”

“New techniques are offering patients efficient, minimally invasive alternatives to invasive surgical approaches which entail anaesthesia and long recovery periods in hospitals. Innovative radiotherapy and radiosurgery technologies offer image-guided patient positioning, motion-management, and real-time tumor tracking that have made the approach to fighting cancer more powerful than ever before.” added Dr. SK Shrivastava, Professor and Head of the Department of Radiation Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital Cancer in India.

“We have established a dedicated education centre in Mumbai to help train radiotherapists and physicists in the safe and effective use of the latest cancer treatment technologies crucial for the future care of India’s growing numbers of cancer patients.” said Ashok Kakkar, Senior Managing Director, Varian Medical Systems, India. “With the largest installed base of radiation therapy devices in India, Varian continues to equip the country’s cancer hospitals with technologies for the efficient delivery of advanced radiotherapy. We have consistently invested in research and development, manufacturing and training, to improve the quality and accessibility of radiotherapy treatments.”

India has a population of over a billion people and there are an estimated one million new cases of cancer diagnosed in the country each year.

“Embracing the latest advancements in radiotherapy and radiosurgery for treatment of cancer is just what we need in India. These new devices enable clinicians to deliver radiation accurately & quickly, making this not just more efficient but also a cost-effective treatment. Many more patients can be treated with a single machine than was previously possible. The newest systems complete treatments 2-8 faster than the previous generation of systems.” said Professor Ramesh S. Bilimagga, President, Association of Radiation Oncologists of India (AROI).

Important Safety Information

Radiation treatments may cause side effects that can vary depending on the part of the body being treated. The most frequent ones are typically temporary and may include, but are not limited to, irritation to the respiratory, digestive, urinary or reproductive systems, fatigue, nausea, skin irritation, and hair loss. In some patients, they can be severe. Treatment sessions may vary in complexity and time. Radiation treatment is not appropriate for all cancers.

About Varian Medical Systems

Varian Medical Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California, is the world’s leading manufacturer of medical devices and software for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiotherapy, radiosurgery, and brachytherapy. The company supplies informatics software for managing comprehensive cancer clinics, radiotherapy centers and medical oncology practices. Varian is a premier supplier of tubes, digital detectors, and image processing software and workstations for X-ray imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications, and also supplies high-energy X-ray devices for cargo screening and non-destructive testing applications. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 6,500 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America, Europe, and China and approximately 70 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit http://www.varian.com or follow us on Twitter.

Date: 7/11/14
Outlet Full Name: Wall Street Journal
Author: Namita Narula / Sunandita Roy

http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20140711-902690.html

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