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Home News and Update Year 2010 For Liver Cancer Patients, PGI Offers Ray Of Hope In Nuclear Therapy

For Liver Cancer Patients, PGI Offers Ray Of Hope In Nuclear Therapy

Indian Express
10 November 2010
By Majid Jahangir
Chandigarh, India

FOR liver cancer patients in the region, there is new hope for them in nuclear therapy. In the next few months, three departments of the Post–Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh – Hepatology, Radiology and Nuclear Medicine– will start treating liver cancer patients in a combined way and it will be the first time that this procedure will be introduced in the region.

The procedure, called ‘intra arterial radio nuclear therapy’, will treat even those patients whose liver can cer has reached an advanced stage.

"Through this procedure, a selective arterial catheterised radio level material will specifically target the site of cancer in the liver," explained PGIMER Head of Nuclear Medicine Department Prof B R Mittal. "The radioactive material will spare the healthy tissues and this procedure will help in treating cancer patients to a large extent." As the Nuclear Medicine Department will treat the patient through the radioactive material, the patients will be primarily diagnosed and worked out by the Hepatology Department at PGIMER. Doctors of nuclear medicine will treat the patients under the guidance of radiologists.

The doctors said that liver cancer patients all over the world, who have been treated with radio material, have shown better recovery than the other modes of treatment available. Mittal said that intra–arterial radio nuclear therapy is not a routine procedure and PGIMER will be only the second government hospital in India after All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to introduce this targeted treatment.

"The whole region will get benefited as liver cancer patients can be treated in a better way at PGI," the head of nuclear medicine said. At PGIMER, two to three patients are diagnosed with liver cancer in the Hepatology department every week.

"Though we don't have any data of liver cancer prevalence, the number of patients diagnosed with liver cancer at PGIMER is definitely worrying," said a senior doctor of Hepatology. "Mostly, the patients come to us for treatment very late and the radioactive pro cedure will certainly help and the survival rate will improve."

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