India's top neuro-oncologists will deliberate for three days at Kochi to bring in advancements in treatment and understanding of brain tumors.
In fact, for the first time, they intend to come out with a research cancer guidelines for clinicians and oncologists in the country for specific tumors.
The three-day annual conference of Indian Society for Neuro-oncology being held at Kochi on 27-29 March will be preceded by a workshop at Amrita Institute of Medical Science and Research Centre, with live demonstrations in the presence of pioneers of latest techniques in neuro-oncology like Prof. Huges Duffau of France.
"The conference will come out with a research paper on cancer guidelines deliberated extensively by a group of experts, which will be submitted to major medical journals. This guideline could be followed by all brain tumor researchers and clinicians throughout the country," said Dr. Rakesh Jalali, Professor of Radiation Oncology at Mumbai's Tata Memorial Hospital and General Secretary of Indian Society of Neuro-Oncology.
India has a huge burden of cancer patients and about 9-10 lakh cancer cases are detected every year, out of which, two to three percent - 25,000-30,000 cases, are diagnosed with brain tumors. Amongst the brain tumor patients, 20-25% are paediatric age population - less than 18 years of age and 70-75% of them are curable. "Cure means, even if the cancer is malignant, they can live 70-80 years of normal life," said Dr. Jalali.
The Kochi conference, being hosted by Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, will focus on two themes - paediatric brain tumors and update research on functional preservation of the affected, which means give quality life to the patients.
Dr. Jalali said advancement in molecular biology as given rare insight to improve the cure and quality of life to patients with certain types of brain tumors such as medulloblastoma, a brain tumor which occurs in children and adolescents. This can be cured is as much as 90-95% of cases depending on which of the four molecular sub-types. He said, the Society is likely to organise a few premier centres of the as nodal stations, which would offer molecular analysis of histo-pathologic block material of tumor patients.
Though India does have has the required facilities for treatment of cancer, at par with the best anywhere in the world, there is great disparity in distribution of these facilities to cosmopolitan cities and almost 30-40% of the cases come from rural or semi-urban areas. These nodal stations will help clinicians, neuro-oncologists from their respective regions to provide.
The society in conjunction with the Brain Tumor Foundation of India and JASCAP, will also launch a booklet, for the first time, initially in English and Malayalam on brain tumors to educate persons with brain tumor and dispel doubts about the disease. Progressively, the booklet will be made available in 20-22 Indian languages.