The department of radiotherapy at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS) was established in 1997 with the support of the Government of India under the National Cancer Control Programme and the Bajaj Group of Industries. Since then, the department is actively involved in providing radiotherapy services to the patients of Vidarbha and adjoining regions.
The department intends to provide state-of-the art affordable and cost-effective radiation oncology services to all sections of the community including the underprivileged rural community. In addition we would like to pursuit exemplary standards of professional excellence in education, research and clinical care in oncology with special emphasis in radiation oncology. This is in line with the spirit of its founder, Late Dr. Sushila Nayar and is ingrained deeply in the ethos of professional excellence, selfless service and dedication towards the practice of “Satya, Dharma, Prem" (meaning truth, duty and love) as annotated in the logo of the Institute.
In 2020, the Institute constructed the Centre of Palliative Care and Radiotherapy to house palliative care services (ground floor) along with indoor and outdoor services of radiotherapy (first floor). In 2021, the department underwent major renovation, upgradation of the equipment and introduction of novel facilities. These were undertaken in the renovated premises that previously housed the treatment units, now named as The Healing Centre of the department of radiotherapy. The centre along with the various upgraded facilities that included introducing several key therapeutic modalities for cancer treatment that are novel, not only in the region but also in the country was dedicated for patient care on April 22, 2022 by Shri Dhiru S Mehta, President, Kasturba Health Society.
The existing linear accelerator (Clinac iX) has now been upgraded with image guided radiation therapy (IGRT) facilities along with 120 leaf multi-leaf collimator. The department has now started to offer IGRT, volumetric modulated arc therapy (RapidArc), adaptive radiation therapy (ART) and dose guided radiation therapy (DGRT).
The department has also now raised its brachytherapy facilities with the introduction of interstitial, intracavitary and intraluminal brachytherapy to be practiced in nearly all tumor sites. These would help not only in improving tumor control but also preserve the organ, its function and be cosmetically appealing to patients without compromising the cure rates. Collectively, the endeavor would be to improve both tumor control and quality of life.
Hyperthermia is a novel therapeutic approach in cancer being introduced for the first time in India as a routine treatment with radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy. Hyperthermia is acknowledged as the most potent radiation sensitizer, chemosensitizer and strong immunomodulator similar to in situ tumor vaccination. More significantly, it is usually without any additional normal tissue side effects. Hyperthermia along with radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy is being practiced at MGIMS since April 2021, especially in patients of locally advanced de novo tumors of various sites (namely head neck, breast, cervix etc.) and recurrent tumors. The results are extremely encouraging.
Shortly, the department is also going to be equipped with a wide bore CT simulator of 85 cm bore size with 32 slice configuration. This will further facilitate the radiation treatment planning under image guidance for both teletherapy and brachytherapy.
All these treatments are being practiced in close collaboration with other departments, namely - Surgery, Gynecology, ENT, Orthopedics, Neurosurgery, Medicine etc. This could indeed be a great support to patients who are attending MGIMS from neighboring regions of Maharashtra. Moreover, radiotherapy offered at MGIMS is highly affordable to all sections of patients. In addition, some of the unique therapeutic options offered by the department could benefit patients even from other adjoining States. Staff members of the department dedicate themselves towards fulfilling the vision of its founder and believe in practicing “Quality Assured Radiation Therapy”. This would eventually translate to not only improve treatment outcomes but also organ and function preservation, a key step towards improving the quality of life of our patients.