According to recent projections by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India is expected to register over 17 lakh new cases of cancer and over 8 lakh deaths because of the disease by 2020. East and North-East India are not immune to this fact and are reporting substantial number of cancer cases.
With an effort to reduce the cancer burden in this part of the country, Dr Devi Shetty, Chairman, Narayana Health and Dr Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, CMD, Biocon inaugurated a state-of-the-art linear accelerator at Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Howrah making it the first of such technology available in the 13 states of Eastern and North-Eastern India.
Developed by Swedish company Elekta, ‘Versa HD’ as it is known as, has the versatility to deliver conventional radiotherapy and a variety of indications and treatment techniques. It is designed for the most challenging stereotactic treatments, enabling ultimate clinical flexibility and operational efficiency for reduced treatment times and increased patient volumes. The hospital has now opened this facility to the people of India and neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and Bhutan with affordable tariffs that would be one of the lowest in the region.
Radiation therapy (radiotherapy) uses ionizing radiation, generally as part of cancer treatment to control or kill malignant cells and is normally delivered by a linear accelerator. Radiotherapy is one of the pillars of cancer management and may involve either external beam treatment or brachytherapy, a technique where a sealed radiation source is placed inside or next to the area requiring treatment.
Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Howrah is now equipped with a state-of-the-art Linear Accelerator through which clinicians can now, for the first time in Eastern India take full advantage of higher dose rate delivery, enabling greater capabilities for sophisticated therapies, including Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT), Image Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT), Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT) and Stereotactic Radiotherapy (SRT). Versa HD offers focused treatment & high-speed delivery with Agility Micro Leaf Collimator (MLC) & Flattening Filter Free (FFF) beams, 3D soft tissue imaging before and during treatment with Cone Beam CT (CBCT), lung motion management by Active Breathing Coordinator (ABC), 4D imaging of lung and liver tumors during treatment with Symmetry.
Dr Devi Shetty, Chairman, Narayana Health said, “It has been our endeavour to make Kolkata a leading healthcare hub through which we wish to address the growing medical needs of people of not only West Bengal but also Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, North-Eastern states and neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and Bhutan. The availability of Versa HD linear accelerator at Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Howrah is an important step in that direction. While high radiotherapy delivery speeds have led to better productivity and efficiency and higher patient throughput, high precision has enabled better delivery of radiation at the targeted site, thus minimising unnecessary radiation exposure and improving the quality of life.”
Dr Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, CMD, Biocon said, “Narayana Health has always been at the forefront of providing the latest and best treatment facilities for the patients. I am happy to announce that Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Howrah – their flagship unit for cancer care in Eastern India has become the only hospital in the region to be equipped with the latest technology in radiotherapy. The future of radiotherapy for treating cancer lies in more personalized treatment and Versa HD will enable them to do just that’.
Versa HD provides a single platform to deliver advanced stereotactic treatments and conventional radiotherapy throughout the body, including the brain, delivering the flexibility to treat more patients and a wider variety of indications. It boasts of the following features:-
1. Non-invasive 4D image guidance
2. 5x lower leaf transmission
3. 40 cm x 40 cm submillimetric leaf accuracy
4. End-to-end QA accuracy
5. High-definition beam shaping
6. Advanced online image guidance
7. True High Dose Rate beam generation
8. High Dose Rate mode