Advantages of ”proton therapy’ over conventional cancer treatment methods:
The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has issued licence to Apollo Hospitals in Chennai to operate the proton therapy facility for treating cancer patients. The proton therapy facility, Proteus 235, is the first of its kind in India and South-East Asia. The license is issued by AERB for patient treatment with proton beam of 226 MeV from radiation safety view point. Though AERB has given licence to about 475 medical institutions to use radio therapy equipment, they are either gamma radiation-based tele-cobalt units or are X-ray-based linear accelerators.
The proton beam therapy uses a beam of protons to irradiate diseased tissue, most often in the treatment of cancer. The proton beam is specifically beneficial in treating paediatric cancers and deep-seated tumours more effectively than the conventional Gamma/X-ray radiation therapy. With the launch of Apollo Proton Cancer Centre (APCC), India has become the 16th country in the world to offer proton therapy for cancer. The centre offers proton therapy with pencil-beam technology that provides a high degree of precision. Around 60 to 70% cancer patients need radiation.
Through proton beam therapy, which is a form of radiation, zero dose beyond the tumour is achievable. Many western European and American countries say that proton should be the standard of care for any child, who needs radiation. It has become important in brain tumours, sarcomas, solid cancers and paediatric cancers. Ultra precise dose painting to the most complex tumour shape can be achieved with the proton beam technology. Proton therapy can be utilised for young adults and teenagers to reduce the risk of second cancer.