On 22 April, 2022, the department of Radiotherapy at Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sevagram inaugurated the upgradation of the department facilities in the hands of Shri Dhirubhai Mehta (President, Kasturba Health Society. Mr PL Tapadiya (Vice President, Kasturba Health Society), Dr BS Garg (Secretary, Kasturba Health Society respectively), Dr N Gangane (Dean, MGIMS), Dr SP Kalantri (Medical Superintendent, Kasturba Hospital), faculty and staff were present in the occasion. The event also witnessed the therapy given to its first patient with the newly upgraded Linear Accelerator.
“The Radiotherapy department has introduced several key therapeutic modalities for cancer treatment that are novel, not only in the region but also in the country. With our upgraded facilities, we hope to provide better cancer care and improve the quality of patient’s life”, said Shri Dhirubhai Mehta.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr NR Datta (Director Professor & Head of Radiotherapy, MGIMS) informed, “The existing linear accelerator has now been upgraded with image guided radiation therapy (IGRT) facilities along with 120 leaf multi-leaf collimator. This feature will enable us to not just precisely hit the tumor but also spare the adjacent normal tissues”. The newly added console shall allow close onboard image guidance and monitoring, adaptive treatment planning, and dose guidance procedures. “We expect to translate into improved tumor cure rates without any increase in normal tissue toxicity”, Dr Datta added.
The department has also now upgraded its brachytherapy facilities with the introduction of interstitial, intracavitary and intraluminal brachytherapy. Thus, brachytherapy could be practiced in nearly all tumor sites. These would help not only in improving tumor control but also preserve the organ and its function. Further it would be cosmetically appealing to patients. Collectively, the endeavor would be to improve both tumor control and quality of life. Few centers in India are presently practicing the entire range of brachytherapy applications that are being envisaged at MGIMS, Sevagram.
Hyperthermia is a novel therapeutic approach in cancer being introduced for the first time in India as a routine treatment along 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 is being practiced at our hospital for the past 1 year and the initial results in patients of locally advanced de novo tumors of various sites (namely head neck, breast, cervix etc.) and recurrent tumors are extremely encouraging”, informed Dr Datta.
“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”, said Dr Kalantri.
“All these treatments are being practiced in close collaboration with other departments, namely - Surgery, Gynecology, ENT, Orthopedics, Neurosurgery, Medicine etc. The department believes 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.”, reassured Dr Datta.