Top Radiation Oncologists impart Knowledge at International Conference on Hyperthermia organised by Nanavati Hospital

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Top Radiation Oncologists impart Knowledge at International Conference on Hyperthermia organised by Nanavati Hospital
  • The 11th Biennial Conference Indian Association of Hyperthermia Oncology and Medicine brings in hyperthermia awareness and education to India
  • The two-day Conference kicks off today, Experts deliberate on viability & outcome

Top Radiation Oncologists across the world today gathered here to impart and share knowledge and expertise at International Conference on Hyperthermia hosted by Nanavati Super Specialty Hospital (NSSH), Vile Parle. The 11th Biennial Conference Indian Association of Hyperthermia Oncology and Medicine is aimed at bringing in advanced treatment regimens and hyperthermia awareness to India.

The two-day conference, which began On Saturday, witnessed extensive discussions on interesting themes such as integration of proton therapy and hyperthermia, role of hyperthermia in breast, head and neck and cervical cancer and economics of setting up Hyperthermia centre in India.

Hyperthermia—also known as thermal therapy, uses high temperatures (up to 113 F) to kill cancer cells within the tissues. Not widely available or known, Hyperthermia is used as an effective tool along with radiation or chemotherapy to treat cancer.

Dr. Nagraj G. Huilgol, Chief Radiation Oncologist, Nanavati Hospital and Convenor of the Conference who pioneered one of the first Hyperthermia Units in Mumbai, said India—being the cradle for therapeutic innovations, has been harnessing heat for treatment of cancer and other disease since ages.

“There is a renewed interest in hyperthermic oncology in India. Availability of technology has stirred the imagination of oncologists. This conference will showcase the work done so far in India, both from bench and clinics. Experts from overseas would also share their clinical trials and knowledge, while creating consortiums for further research and innovations,” said Dr Huigol.

During the several technical sessions, experts from Japan (Prof. Takayuki Ohguri), The Netherland (Dr. Hans Creeze, Prof. Cobi Van der Zee, Dr. Gerard Rhoon, ) South Africa ( Dr. Carrie Minnaae) , Germany ( Prof. Markus Notter, Dr. Martin Roesch) , The United States (Prof. Zeljko Vujaskkovic), Hungary ( Dr. Andras Szaz), Italy ( Prof. Pierfranscesco Pavoni) and South Korea (Prof. IHL Bohng Choi) presented their views and shared advanced knowledge with the delegates. From India top radiation oncologists and experts included Dr Nagraj Huilgol, Dr. J P Agarwal, Dr. Rajendra Patankar, Dr. Sanket Mehta, Dr. Amita Maheshwari, Dr. Jigna Bhattacharya, Dr. Kavita Arunachalam, Dr. Deepika Sharma, Dr. Prashant Chhajed, Dr.Vivek Venkat, Dr.Anita Ramesh among others. Dr Agarwal highlighted the importance of Hyperthermia as technology in India, whereas Dr Martin Roesch from Germany underlined the benefits of hyperthermia in the portfolio of cancer therapies with a focus of enhancing immunological therapies.

At the inaugural session presenting the Life Time achievement awards to Dr Peter Vaupal, Dr Cobi Van de Zee, Dr Hans Creez and Prof Gerald van Rhoon, Guest of Honour of the Conference Dr Deepak Patkar, Director (Medical Services), NSSH, said,Hyperthermia as a powerful technology would surely transform the way India treats a critical disease-cancer. The conference would help us to impart hyperthermia awareness and education among our medical professionals but we would also leverage from the best global practices associated with the technology which is now considered as one of the best and effective options for treatment.”

According to experts, globally, chemo-radiation has emerged as the standard of care in locally advanced oral and hypopharyngeal cancers. Radiation with Hyperthermia is an alternative approach in the treatment of cancers with lesser toxicity.

Studies have proven that Hyperthermia is a clinical treatment for malignant diseases and the heating is achieved generally by electromagnetic radiation. Radiation Oncologists were of the view that in India also Hyperthermia could turn out to be among the most powerful anti-cancer weapons. Clinical trials involving Hyperthermia and Radiation or Chemotherapy have been proving very encouraging. However, in India there only a few Centres for Hyperthermia.

The Conference also highlighted the challenges which include lack of easy access to technology. It is also the economics of setting up a capital intensive machine. According to the experts, it is not very attractive to most of the hospitals. There is a need for affordable technology. This can help more centres for promoting this important modality.

The Conference brought to fore the exciting advances in this area. The two-day conference unleashes the required ‘Heat’ to scale up the use of Hyperthermia for cancer treatment in the country.

Sahil Saini

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