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NCI to get 'heavy ion therapy' machine

NCI to get heavy ion therapy machine
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New Delhi: Indian cancer patients will be able to receive a state-of-the-art heavy ion therapy at All India Institute of Medical Science's National Cancer Institute, Jhajjar as early as in 2021. 'Heavy ion therapy' is considered the best cancer treatment available for now, expert said. The heavy ion treatment system accelerates carbon-ion beam to up to 70 per cent of the speed of light and exposes a concentrated dose of radiation to the targeted cancer tissues. As soon as carbon ions reach cancer tissues, they emit radiation energy to destroy the DNA of cancer cells and cancer tissues only, expert said. Moreover, Heavy ion is 12 times heavier than the proton, which raises the cancer cell death rate by four times that of the proton, he added.

"At a cost of Rs 700 crore, "heavy-ion therapy" will be a boon for medical students and people who cannot afford high-end treatment. There are private hospitals in the country with 'proton therapy', but who charge exorbitant amounts for it. Our main aim is to treat underprivileged patients for free and provide good teaching to students," said Dr GK Rath, chief of National Cancer Institute, AIIMS. "Only Germany and Japan are the countries providing the cancer treatment through the therapy, even United States is missing the advance therapy in its health care sector, he added.

"Heavy ion therapy offers a short treatment period. While conventional radiation therapies or proton treatments require 30 times of treatment on average, heavy ion therapy needs only 12 times. Existing radiation therapies take about five to seven weeks but heavy ion treatment needs one-time radiation for early-stage lung cancer, twice for liver cancer, and three weeks at maximum for prostate cancer or head and neck cancer," said Dr Rath.

First introduced in 1994, which helped many cancer patients receive heavy ion therapies till date. Nature, the world-renowned science academic journal, called heavy ion therapies 'sharpshooters.' However, there are only 10 heavy ion therapy systems in the world now. Japan has five, Germany, two, China, two, and Italy, one. Austria is getting ready to adopt one, and China and Japan are planning to get more.

The therapy coverd mostly every type of the cancer,

however, this cutting edge therapy take advancement in panceratic cancer, brain, lungs, liver, prostate, nasopharynx and many major type of onco-disorder.

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