Apollo Hospitals announced that it will be setting up India's first proton therapy centre at a cost of over Rs 400 crore in Chennai. The center will be used for treating cancer patients in southeast Asia, Africa and Australia.
"The proton centre will be able to treat each cancer patient by providing the required dose of radiation therapy and meet the clinical objectives of physicians," Apollo chairman Prathap C. Reddy said in a statement Monday.
The Belgium-based Ion Beam Applications S.A. will provide the equipment and set up the facility in Chennai over the next three years to be commissioned in 2016.
The multi-room configuration centre will have three treatment rooms with uniform scanning and pencil beam scanning capabilities.
"IBA will also provide all dosimetry equipment to ensure safe commissioning of the centre so that patients can benefit from this technology from 2016," Reddy said.
The centre will also undertake research and development in partnership with leading institutions the world over to foster innovation so as to make modern healthcare accessible to the needy.
"The new facility will give patients access to the most advanced radiation therapy technology. The centre will also be an international proton therapy centre of reference in Asia, allowing us to enhance ability to provide superior cancer care and promote benefits of proton therapy technology across the sub-continent," Reddy asserted.
With about three million people suffering from cancer in India and one million new cases being detected every year, there is a need for specialty cancer treatment hospitals. As most patients are diagnosed with advanced stage cancer, the demand for state-of-the-art cancer treatment is high.
"We are honoured to supply proton therapy for the first time in India. The Indian healthcare market is growing and there is a need for innovative approaches to cancer therapy," IBA chief executive Olivier Legrain said in the statement.
Proton therapy is considered the most advanced and targeted cancer treatment due to its superior dose distribution and fewer side effects.
Protons deposit the majority of their effective energy within a precisely controlled range, directly within the tumour and sparing healthy surrounding tissue.
The technology is used to treat many cancers and is appropriate in situations where treatment options are limited and conventional radiation therapy presents risks to patients.
These situations include eye and brain cancers, tumours close to the brain stem and spinal cord, prostate, liver, lung and breast cancers, and paediatric cancers.