Johannesburg : In line with the vision to touch millions of lives with
advanced cancer care across the globe, Apollo Proton Cancer Centre (APCC), the first and only
proton therapy centre in South Asia and the Middle East, enhances access to Proton Beam Therapy,
one of the most advanced cancer treatments, to patients in South Africa.
Proton beam therapy is a type of radiation therapy that uses protons, which are positively
charged particles, to treat cancer. Unlike conventional radiation therapy, which uses X-rays or
gamma rays, PBT delivers a precise dose of radiation directly to the tumour while sparing the
surrounding healthy tissue. This therapy is particularly effective for treating tumours that are
located near vital organs, such as the brain, spine, and prostate, where minimizing radiation
exposure to healthy tissue is critical. It may also be used to treat paediatric cancers, as
children's developing organs are more sensitive to radiation. Proton Beam Therapy has some
advantages over conventional radiation therapy. Because it is more precise, it can deliver
higher doses of radiation to the tumour while reducing the risk of side effects. It may also be
able to treat some tumours that are difficult to treat with other forms of radiation therapy.
Cancer remains a significant health problem in South Africa, with an estimated 115,000 new cases
of cancer diagnosed each year. This high incidence is thought to be due to factors such as the
aging population, exposure to environmental risk factors, and an increase in unhealthy lifestyle
behaviours. According to the 2021 Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) report, the most
common cancers in South Africa are breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer
and colorectal cancer.
Early detection and treatment are crucial for improving cancer outcomes in South Africa.
Government and private sector have been working to improve cancer awareness, provide cancer
education, and support cancer patients and their families across the country.
Appreciating APCC’s efforts, Mr Jaideep Sarkar, Indian High Commissioner to South Africa,
said, “By taking the initiative to spread awareness about cancer and the bringing
advanced proton beam therapy to South Africa, APCC has shown its dedication to not only treating
patients, but also empowering the region with right knowledge. The efforts are invaluable in the
fight against cancer and improving the lives of those affected by this disease. With the support
of the state-of-the-art technology advancements, Apollo Proton Cancer Centre is committed to
bringing the benefits of Proton Beam Therapy to South Africa and spreading awareness about this
revolutionary treatment option. This initiative is a testament to Apollo’s commitment to
enhancing healthcare and improving the lives of people across the region.”
Dr Srinivas Chilukuri, Radiation Oncologist, Apollo Proton Cancer Centre, Chennai, said
“Proton Beam Therapy is changing the game in cancer treatment, offering a level of precision and
effectiveness that was once thought impossible. This cutting-edge therapy uses proton particles
to target tumors with pinpoint accuracy, while sparing healthy tissue and reducing the risk of
side effects. As a leader in cancer care, we are proud to offer this groundbreaking treatment to
the patients in South Africa, providing them with the best possible outcomes and quality of life
during and after treatment. At APCC, we are committed to advancing the field of oncology and
providing our patients with the latest and most innovative therapies available. We believe that
proton therapy has been a game-changer in the fight against cancer, and we are excited to be at
the forefront of revolutionizing the cancer care."
Dr Duvern Ramiah, Clinical Oncologist, HOD of Donald Gold Hospital, Medi Clinic Enterprise,
“It’s great news to cancer patients that Proton beam radiotherapy is becoming more
accessible to them, and gives oncologists a very valuable tool in the treatment artillery
for cancer. "
As more proton therapy becomes more popular globally, more cancer patients are gaining access to
this highly effective treatment option. This can lead to improved outcomes for patients,
particularly those with difficult-to-treat cancers or those who have exhausted other treatment
options. The use of proton beam therapy has opened new opportunities for research into cancer
treatment and the effects of radiation therapy on cancer cells. This research can help to
develop new treatment options and improve outcomes for cancer patients in the future.