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Home News and Update Year 2010 Bone cancer treatment gets cheaper, safer and better

Bone cancer treatment gets cheaper, safer and better

Times of India
20 August 2010
By Lata.Mishra

Tata Memorial develops technique to treat, replace malignant bones without exposing patients to radiation
Left: Graphical representation of the ECRT bone grafting and the facility that will treat the malignant bone
Bone cancer patients, especially children, now stand to benefit from a new treatment developed by the Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH). Called, ‘Diaphyseal Reconstruction With Extra–corporeal Irradiated Autogenous Tumour Bone Graft’ or simply ECRT Bone Graft, his new technique entails severing the malignant part of the bone, treating it to high radiation and then putting it back where it was extracted from.

ECRT, say doctors, will save patients from the harmful effects of high intensity radiation and save them the high cost of the use of prosthetics is cost–intensive.

Dr Ashish Gulia, Associate Professor (Orthopaedic Cancer), TMH told Mirror that the hospital has already used ECRT Bone Graft, on 50 patients successfully. "Earlier we were using steel prosthesis or relying on bone donors. This would increase the time taken for treatment, healing and rehabilitation.

This new technique saves money and time and also saves the patient from the harmful effects of radiation," he said, adding, "The affected bone is severed and exposed to high intensity radiation for 30 minutes and reattached."

He further explained that ECRT is particularly beneficial for children whose extremities are affected. "In a growing child prosthesis will have to be replaced periodically and the chances of something going wrong are higher. Hence, in such cases this technique will be of great help."

Dr Gulia mentioned how the doctors from TMH have made a presentation about this technique at the Annual Bone and Soft Tissue Oncology Conference at Birmingham, UK. "The oncologists there too were appreciative of what they called a pioneering effort," pointed out Dr Gulia who added that the findings will now be published in the latest Indian Journal of Orthopaedics.

One of the youngest patients treated at TMH was a sixyear–old child, who was diagnosed with cancer in the lower thigh just above the knee. "Six months after the treatment we investigated for a remission and found none. It is this positive outcome that given us confidence about the effectiveness of the new technique."

The Advantages Of The New Surgery
  • Anatomically matched bone graft
  • Auto bone graft (Irradiated)
  • Bone bank not required
  • Inexpensive
  • Good union rate
  • Bone stock restored
  • Saves time of the surgery


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