Philips, IBA of Belgium join hands to expand proton therapy for cancer

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on June 12, 2015

First centre will be launched soon in Apollo Hospitals

Philips India and Belgium-headquartered IBA (Ion Beam Applications) on Friday signed an agreement to widen access to proton therapy for treatment of certain cancers in India, such as brain, breast, eye, head & neck, among other localised ones.

The first such centre will soon be launched in Apollo Hospitals, Chennai, an outcome of a collaboration that began in 2013, Sameer Garde, President, Philips Healthcare, said here while announcing the agreement.

Garde said proton therapy through pencil beam scanning uses high-energy protons to target cancerous tumour cells, leaving alone healthy tissue. It is “much less toxic, had fewer side effects and has 50 per cent less risk of secondary cancer”, he added.

When asked about its affordability, Garde said the therapy, estimated to cost between ₹20 lakh and ₹22 lakh, involves about five-10 sittings against an average of about 30 sittings in radiotherapy, and is indicated for only solid and localised tumours.

“In effect, the cost will be less as there are fewer sittings,” he said, adding that spending on secondary cancer will also be lower as the chances of having it get considerably reduced.

He said a number of initiatives in proton therapy were going on in India, such as with Tata Memorial, Mumbai. “Talks are also on with public sector hospitals, but I cannot disclose the details now,” he added.

A limited cost smaller system for smaller clinical institutions with both private and public sector participation is also on the cards.

Oliver Legrain, CEO, IBA, said the collaboration with Philips India, which includes sales, marketing and R&D, will bring cutting edge proton beam therapy to India.

IBA, an advanced cancer radiation therapy and diagnostic technologies major, said it had 51 per cent market share globally, followed by 16 per cent by Japan’s Hitachi, and had so far sold 33 proton therapy centres across the world.

Published on June 12, 2015
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