With the mission to provide the most comprehensive and advanced cancer care in India, Apollo Proton Cancer Centre (APCC), the first and only proton therapy centre in South Asia and the Middle East, Apollo Oncology and International, held press conferences in four cities of Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi and Kolkata. The aim of the press meets was to highlight the advantages and benefits of Proton Beam Therapy-one of the most precise cancer treatments.
Mr Prabodh Palit
visited a reputable hospital in Mumbai with complaints of cough and fatigue, and the clinicians diagnosed him with stage IIIC squamous cell carcinoma of the lung. Following two cycles of chemotherapy, the tumour showed a minimal response, and as the doctors in Mumbai felt that Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) was not safe, Mr. Palit was referred to the Apollo Proton Cancer Centre in Chennai, where he underwent PBT. During the treatment, he was given relatively high doses of radiation to eradicate the tumour while delivering significantly negligible and safe doses to the lung and heart. Following the completion of the chemotherapy and proton therapy treatments, the outcome was a success with no major side effects or interruptions to other parts of the body.
Also present was Mr. Navadiya Jemin Mansukhbhai, who was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour. When he was 24 years old, he complained of right-hand weakness for nearly three months before being treated at APCC. His MR imaging revealed a lobulated expansile lesion with minimal peri-lesional edoema in the cervico-medullary junction and was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour called astrocytoma. It begins in cells called astrocytes that support nerve cells. Some astrocytomas grow very slowly and others can be aggressive cancers that grow quickly.
At APCC, he underwent a biopsy of the lesion from the posterior approach with the removal of the foramen magnum and the C1 posterior arch under neuronavigation. Intensity-modulated proton therapy planning using two posterior oblique fields was done and implemented as per institutional protocol.
Dr Sapna Nangia, Senior Consultant, Radiation Oncology, Apollo Proton Cancer Centre, Chennai, said, “Proton beam therapy represents a very sophisticated form of modern radiation therapy, offering the highest degree of precision and efficacy in cancer treatment. The Apollo Proton Cancer Center employs the latest technology in pencil beam scanning, which allows for spot-by-spot and layer-by-layer delivery of proton beams to the tumor site while minimizing exposure to surrounding healthy tissues. This approach is particularly advantageous for tumors located in sensitive areas such as the base of the skull or lung, where traditional radiation therapy may cause significant damage to healthy tissues. Proton therapy has demonstrated excellent outcomes in curing or controlling many cancers while minimizing both immediate and long-term side effects of treatment. Ultimately, proton therapy not only improves patients' chances of survival but also enhances their quality-of-life post-treatment.”
Dr Srinivas Chilukuri, Radiation Oncologist, Apollo Cancer Centre, Navi Mumbai, said “Proton beam therapy is the most sophisticated form of radiation therapy currently available in the world. At the Apollo Proton Cancer Center, we have the latest PBS technology, which enables us to deliver highly focused protons, spot-by-spot and layer-by-layer, encompassing the entire tumour with a reduced or even no dose to the adjacent healthy tissues. In cases such as this, where the tumour is in a risky location such as the base of the skull or in the lung, proton therapy delivers a beam of protons to disrupt the tumour and better target radiation to the size and shape of the tumour without damaging the surrounding healthy tissue. It has been proven to be successful in curing or controlling many cancers when used appropriately. Proton therapy reduces the immediate and long-term side effects of treatment in many patients, leading to not just an improvement in survival but also survivorship.”
Mr. Prabodh Palit said, “Proton beam therapy is the most sophisticated form of radiation therapy currently available in the world. At the Apollo Proton Cancer Center, we have the latest PBS technology, which enables us to deliver highly focused protons, spot-by-spot and layer-by-layer, encompassing the entire tumour with a reduced or even no dose to the adjacent healthy tissues. In cases such as this, where the tumour is in a risky location such as the base of the skull or in the lung, proton therapy delivers a beam of protons to disrupt the tumour and better target radiation to the size and shape of the tumour without damaging the surrounding healthy tissue. It has been proven to be successful in curing or controlling many cancers when used appropriately. Proton therapy reduces the immediate and long-term side effects of treatment in many patients, leading to not just an improvement in survival but also survivorship.”
“My treatment for cervico-medullary pilocytic astrocytoma at APCC was a holistic experience. The doctors and clinical staff were very considerate of my choices and had a detailed treatment plan in place. Intensity-modulated proton therapy was a game changer in my battle with brain tumour. The environment was such that I didn’t feel like a hospital,” says Mr Navadiya Jemin Mansukhbhai, who was treated at APCC.
Ms. Nikhat Khan, a 62-year-old lady, with complaints of diabetes mellitus and hypertension, was evaluated with headache and diplopia in April 2022 and numbness on the left side of her face since June 2022. After conducting several tests, it was concluded, she had a brain tumour at the base of the skull. Ms. Khan was advised adjuvant radiation with proton therapy in view of the location of the tumor (base skull) and proximity to nearby vital structures like hippocampus, brain parenchyma, bilateral temporal lobes, optic apparatus, and parotids. Post the course of radiation therapy and surgery, the patient was discharged with a healthy report.
Ms Nikhat said, "I cannot thank the staff at Apollo Proton Cancer Centre enough for the much-required treatment I received during my cancer journey. The care and attention I received from my medical team and support staff were exceptional. They made me feel like I was their top priority, and the proton beam therapy yielded favourable results. I am grateful for their expertise, compassion, and dedication, which helped me to overcome my illness and return to a healthy life."
Ms Joshmitha, an 11-year-old girl from Hyderabad suffering from a brain tumour and Ms. Kancharla Akhila, a 16-year-old girl diagnosed with skull base chordoma, were both treated with proton beam therapy (PBT).
Ms Joshmitha said, “I am grateful to my doctors and staff at APCC for being supportive and understanding of every need I had as a patient.”
Ms. Medhasree Sanyal, a 21-year-old woman from Kolkata was treated with proton beam therapy (PBT) for a different type of brain tumour.
She had complaints of experiencing seizures which had been managed conservatively with EEG and medicines since 2019. In June 2021, the girl started to experience double vision and went for an MRI brain scan in Kolkata, which revealed a solid cystic lesion in her right temporal lobe measuring 7x4.8x3.7cm. She underwent a right temporal craniotomy and excision of the lesion at a hospital in Kolkata. Later, the girl underwent an MRI which showed another lesion measuring 0.7cm in her right temporal lobe. She underwent re-exploration and near-total excision of the tumor under neuronavigation by Dr. Roopesh Kumar and team at Apollo Proton Cancer Centre. Post-surgery, her medical review showed that there was a very scant residue of the tumor with classical pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma morphology, but rather most of the tumor component was that of an infiltrating glioma for which she went through a session of Intensity-Modulated Proton Therapy (IMPT). Post therapy, an MRI showed that there was no residual disease. The patient recovered well and continues to live a normal life, thanks to the appropriate medical intervention at APCC.