Elekta, a Swedish company specialising in cancer care, radiation oncology, and neurosurgery, will introduce its latest technology, Unity MR-Linac, from its cancer care portfolio next month in collaboration with a private hospital in Hyderabad.

Speaking to businessline , Manikandan Bala, Managing Director, Elekta India, said that the technology has a particular focus on organs that exhibit movement—those in close proximity to critical organs—and organs that may undergo pathological changes during radiation treatment, such as the prostate, the pancreas, and lung cancer. 

Bala elaborated on how the latest technology works and the differentiation it offers. “For example, if somebody is detected for lung cancer, the lungs continue moving, people continue to breathe, and we are trying to radiate a particular spot, which is going to be difficult for us to radiate roughly. That is where the latest technology comes in. MR-Linac is about radiating a patient with MRI imaging,” he said.

According to the company, it is a new technology across the globe, and India has been good at adapting to these early technologies. “We are starting with one machine in the country, which will be followed by a couple more in the pipeline in the next few months.”

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Estimates indicate that the reported cancer incidence in the country will reach 250 to 280 per lakh people by 2030 from the current level of 120 per lakh, closely mirroring the incidence of China, Brazil, and Thailand.

In regards to providing access to care across the country, he said that because it is a new technology, it is going to longer for it to shift into tier 2 and tier 3. Initially, tier 1 cities across the major centres, which are waiting for a lot more specialised cancer treatment, will be the early adapters.

“Our focus is also on providing access to care to tier 2 and tier 3 cities, but it is going to be a long process. We continue to provide access via collaboration with more private and public healthcare providers to take these technologies to tier 2 and tier 3 cities.”

Comprehensive Cancer Centres

Data from an analysis of centres providing all three modalities of cancer treatment in the country highlights that there are 470 to 480 Comprehensive Cancer Centres (CCCs) in India. 70 per cent of the CCCs are in western, southern, and northern India, which has 43 per cent of the population. The most underserved areas are located in central and eastern India, with 54 per cent of the population but only 27 per cent of CCCs.

While there has been an increase in the number of CCCs over the last five to six years at a CAGR of 8 per cent (in 2016, 275 to 325 CCCs were present in India), there still exists a significant geographic skew in the access of patients to multi-modal treatment options.

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Elektain India presently has more than 500 radiation oncology equipment in service across various modalities, such as linear accelerators, brachytherapy solutions, gamma knife, and more. “Presently, there are 0.4 people per million who have access to essential medical device, and we are trying to bring it as close as possible to one per million,” noted Bala.


The healthcare company develops and produces radiation therapy, radiosurgery-related equipment, and clinical management for the treatment of cancer and brain disorders, has been in India for the last 18 years and has around 170 employees at operating levels out in the country.

Speaking about exploring expanding the manufacturing of its devices in India, the MD said, “Coming in from a diagnostic perspective, making in India is definitely the way to go, and we will be at some point looking at analyzing the feasibility of such technology being manufactured in India as well.”

However, “we will also continue to focus on collaborating with manufacturers outside of India because we want the latest technologies,” he added.