Over 400 delegates from across India and Asia gathered at the 1st International PROTON Therapy Educational Programme organized jointly by Particle Therapy Cooperative Group (PTCOG) and Apollo Proton Cancer Centre (APCC). Proton Therapy is the most advanced and targeted cancer treatment due to its superior dose distribution and minimal side effects that helps treat cancer more effectively and efficiently. The two day long comprehensive interactive scientific programme saw specialists from Austria, Denmark, India, Sweden, Switzerland and the US sharing their knowledge on various aspects of Proton therapy technology and treatment, to give a comprehensive overview of the application in clinical practice. The prestigious conference saw the Health Ministers from South Africa, Oman, Yemen and Sri Lanka in attendance.
Inaugurated by Dr. Motosoahae Thomas Thabane, Hon. Prime Minister of Lesotho , the conference included plenary talks from internationally recognized experts in Proton Therapy, and value adding educational sessions providing a comprehensive overview of the technology and clinical practices related to particle therapy from its origin to current day modern technologies. The highlight was a tour of the soon-to-be-launched state-of-the-art Apollo Proton Cancer Centre that had the delegates expressing their appreciation of the modern comprehensive facilities for organ specific cancer management.
Dr Preetha Reddy, Vice Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals said, “The 1st International PROTON Therapy Educational Programme will help physicians and oncologists understand the potential of this new technology to treat cancer. With the cancer burden in India increasing day by day, we are glad to be at the forefront in taking up the challenge of providing the best treatment option available in the world. In continuation of this legacy, we are launching this Proton therapy facility, which will be the first in South East Asia and a major milestone in our concerted focus to battle and conquer cancer.”
Speaking at the conference, Mr. Harshad Reddy, Apollo Proton Cancer Centre said, “The Apollo Proton Cancer Centre is our bulwark in the battle against cancer! It is important to build the right understanding and application of this treatment in cancer. We are happy for the opportunity to host this two day conference with PTCOG and APCC have jointly come together to organize this two day educational programme that offers clinical and technical understanding of PROTON treatment.”
Standard radiation therapy comprises of X-ray beams that deposit their energy along the path of the beam, to the tumour and beyond, resulting in radiation being delivered not only to the tumour but also to the healthy tissues around the tumour. This causes damage to the normal tissue or organs near the tumour. With proton therapy, it is possible to control the location of the release of the energy and precisely target the tumour, causing the most damage to the targeted tumour cells, while sparing healthy tissues and organs. A proton beam is just millimetres wide and allows the effective treatment of complex tumours in the eye, brain, prostate, as well as cancers in children with the advantage that healthy tissue and critical organs are not harmed. It gives the patient a better quality of life during and after treatment.
Dr Rakesh Jalali, Medical Director, Apollo Proton Cancer Centre said, “Cancer treatment has been phenomenally transformed due to Proton Therapy. It helps in treating tumors located especially in difficult to access areas such as in head, neck, pancreas and prostrate. It is most effective considering the possibility of giving higher doses of radiation to control and manage cancer while reducing damage to vital organs and healthy tissues. The scientific and knowledge sessions in the 1st International PROTON Therapy Educational Programme have made the delegates aware of the added value of Proton beam therapy in cancer treatment.”
The programme faculty included eminent names including Jay Flanz, PhD, Massachusetts, General Hospital, USA; Eugen Hug, MD, MedAustron, Austria; Tony Lomax, PhD, Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland; Håkan Nyström, PhD, Danish Centre for Particle Therapy, Denmark; Ramesh Rengan, MD, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, USA; Niek Schreuder, PhD, Provision Center for Proton Therapy, USA; Damien Weber, MD, Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland; Petra Witt Nyström, MD, Danish Centre for Particle Therapy, Denmark and The Skandion Clinic, Sweden; and, Minish Mehta, Baptist Health, South Florida, US.