Robotic ultrasound systems can be used to track the movement of tumors in real-time.

NEW DELHI, Feb 7 (The CONNECT) – Amrita Hospital Faridabad Ties Up with IIT Hyderabad to Develop New Technology in Radiation Therapy.

Dr. Bhaskar Viswanathan, HoD, Department of Radiation Oncology, Amrita Hospital, Faridabad, has been recently selected for a research grant, meant to develop an indigenous robotic ultrasound for tumor motion and radiation hyperthermia for cancer treatment.

The technology would be developed in association with Dr. Avinash Eranki, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Medical Ultrasound Research Laboratory of Indian Institute of Technology – Hyderabad, Eranki Labs Private Limited, and Amrita Centre for Advanced Robotics.

Dr. Vishwanathan said it is a non-invasive technique that uses focused ultrasound waves and has a huge potential in cancer treatment like tumor ablation, mild hyperthermia for radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and motion management during radiation delivery.”

“This cutting-edge technology will allow precise localization of lesions, enabling targeted and effective delivery of therapeutic radiation and avoiding damage to the surrounding tissue and organs. Robotic ultrasound plays an important role in guiding the delivery of hyperthermia by accurately locating the tumor and monitoring its motion during treatment. Real-time tracking can be crucial in ensuring that hyperthermia is delivered precisely to the intended target,” the doctor said.

He explained that tumors in the body can move due to factors like breathing and organ motion. Tracking this motion is crucial for accurately delivering radiation therapy. Robotic ultrasound systems can be used to track the movement of tumors in real-time. They use robotic arms equipped with ultrasound transducers to continuously monitor the tumor position during treatment, thus improving targeting accuracy.

Hyperthermia involves raising the temperature of the tumor region to make cancer cells more sensitive to radiation. It also improves blood flow to the tumor, enhancing the delivery of oxygen and chemotherapy. Combining hyperthermia with radiation therapy can significantly enhance the therapeutic effects and theoretically allow for theoretic lower radiation doses, minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

Dr. Avinash Eranki, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, and CEO of Eranki Labs Pvt. Ltd. said, “The need for spatially precise and efficacious delivery of radiation and ultrasound energy is possibly key to improved outcomes in patients with debilitating cancer disease.”

Amrita Hospital

“The collaboration with IIT Hyderabad and Eranki Labs Private Limited enhances the project’s scope, leveraging the expertise of both medical and engineering domains. This interdisciplinary partnership is crucial for advancing technology in cancer care, emphasizing a holistic approach to treatment innovation. We expect to complete the project in 3 years, the grant for which was provided to us by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR),” added Dr. Viswanathan.

Meanwhile, commenting on the fight against cancer, Dr Vikram Vora, Medical Director at International SOS, India, said in most cases is an individual story that begins after a diagnosis is made.

World Cancer Day is a time to understand that collective efforts can prevent individual suffering. Employers can support their workforce by generating awareness, facilitating regular cancer screening, and partnering with medical providers to inform, identify and intervene early. This helps in reducing absenteeism, maintaining productivity, and ensuring sustainability.”

“Having a well-designed employee health and wellbeing program that includes periodic risk assessment for common cancers and onsite availability of health resources, helps employees make healthier lifestyle choices, which in turn can significantly reduce cancer risk,” Dr Vora added.

Prof. (Dr.) Subir Ganguly, Senior Consultant, Advisor, Radiation Oncology, stated, “In the fight against breast and cervical cancers, it is imperative to acknowledge the stark reality – breast cancer constitutes 14% of cancers in Indian women, with a new diagnosis every four minutes. Cervical cancer, accounting for 6-29% of cases, is steadily increasing, impacting both rural and urban communities in developing countries. Understanding the urgency and the need to bridge this healthcare gap, Medica’s Oncology team is taking proactive steps in the districts. Our commitment goes beyond Kolkata or metropolitan cities; we recognize that the density of cancer or the potential for timely detection is higher in semi-urban and rural areas due to lack of awareness and persistent social taboos. These camps will have two experienced doctors. We firmly believe that cancer knows no boundaries, and our efforts aim to ensure that quality healthcare reaches every corner.”

Emphasizing the hospital’s outreach efforts to ensure accessible cancer care services, Dr. Sourav Datta, Director, Medica Oncology & Senior Consultant, Head and Neck Oncosurgery, opined, “There has been a momentous shift in cancer treatment and Kolkata is at par with any world’s biggest and developed cities in providing superior treatment. Medica has taken one of the leading roles with organ specific cancer surgery, best-in-class technology for detection and treatment of cancer with the support of best doctors. We focus on care beyond treatment, through our Monobina Clinic, a hope for cancer caregivers and families by offering dedicated counselling along with Eastern India’s first home based Palliative Care for cancer patients who are nearing the end of their lives, focusing on the patient rather than merely treating their disease.”

Dr. Arunava Roy, Senior Consultant and Head, Gynaecologic Oncology and Robotic Surgery, Medica Cancer Hospital, stated, “On this World Cancer Day on 4th February, we at Medica Oncology aim to propagate cancer care in rural and semi-urban West Bengal where the facilities for diagnosis and treatment of this dreaded disease are limited and not easily accessible whereas the burden is high. So, we are reaching out to the population at Murshidabad and Medinipore with a bundle of activities to promote awareness, prevention and early diagnosis of cancer working hand in hand with local bodies. We come together as a team of organ specific cancer specialists along with the most advanced and state of art cancer treatment and diagnostics facilities to make cancer care affordable and accessible for the people of eastern India.

Udayan Lahiry, Managing Director, Medica Group of Hospitals, said, “Each year around 10 million people die of cancer and this is more than HIV/AIDS & tuberculosis combined. Experts are projecting that this figure will rise to 13 million by 2030. If detected early around one-third cancer can be cured and treated. So at Medica we are taking this initiative to educate people about cancer, it’s early detection & treatment so that we can save lives through greater awareness. Awareness today, is a cure tomorrow.”

Ayanabh Debgupta, Jt. Managing Director, Medica Superspecialty Hospital, stated, “As a healthcare service provider, with the best Oncology team and over 500 cancer beds spread across Kolkata, Siliguri, Ranchi and the upcoming unit in Asansol, it is our duty to reach out to the communities in districts and close the care gap, where these conversations are overdue between patients and doctors. We aim to break the silence around cervical and breast cancer, promoting awareness and education.”

Raghavendra Rao, Chief Distribution Officer, Future Generali India Insurance Company Ltd. said, “World Cancer Day prompts reflection on the profound impact of Cancer on individuals and families. Scheduling routine check-ups is advisable to detect any potential cancer at an early stage. Early detection enhances the prospects of recovery. Additionally, it’s prudent to ensure sufficient insurance coverage to mitigate unforeseen circumstances like cancer. Let us use this day to reinforce our commitment to raising awareness, advocating for early detection, and standing together in the fight against cancer. Together, we can make strides towards a future where cancer is no longer a barrier to well-being and fulfillment.”