New therapies are not only making cancer cure easier and faster but improving the quality of life by leaving least damaging effect on the body. Dr. Manish Sharma, Consultant – Medical Oncology from Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute & Research Centre (RGCI&RC) Niti Bagh, South Delhi shared new technologies for treating different kinds of cancers at a doctors’ conclave organized by Nursing Home Association (NHA), Faridabad.
The programme was presided over by Dr. Naresh Jindal, President and Dr. Anita Garg, Honorary Secretary of NHA Faridabad.
According to Dr Manish Sharma, cancer therapy has three important domains – Radiation, Surgery and Medicine and all three have witnessed significant progress in the last couple of decades.
Today, India has all the Radiation therapy advancements including Proton Therapy, Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT), True Beam, Rapid Arc and 3-D Conformal Radiation therapy. Targeted radiation therapies have played a vital role in organ preservation and improving quality of life. In older techniques the organs used to get burnt through radiation but now newer techniques such as IMRT, IGRT and SBRT are helping in targeting the tumours without affecting the surrounding areas.
In surgery, we have increasing role of Robotic surgery and key hole surgery. The objective is precision in treatment of cancer so that organs are preserved. Robotic surgery has huge advantages over traditional surgeries since incision is very small, it causes less blood loss, less pain, leads to early recovery, entails less hospital stay and less amount of analgesic (pain killer) requirement post operation.
In Medical oncology, traditional chemotherapy is being increasingly replaced by Immunotherapy, Targeted therapy and Cellular therapy. Many cancers can now be treated with only oral pills. Now we have agents (drugs) which can improve the body’s own immunity to kill the cancer cells making cancer much more curable.
Speaking about the emerging trends, Dr Sharma stated, we understand molecular biology much better today since we have access to human genome mapping. As a result, cancer treatment has become much more personalized. For instance, two patients of lung cancer are treated differently according to their genetic make-up. So we have fast emerging role of personalized therapy in cancer treatment.