South African patients to have improved access to the cutting-edge technology of Proton Beam Therapy

02 March, 2023

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, said “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.


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