Ion beam hope for cancer patients

West Bengal may soon get cheaper and cost effective cancer treatment facilities with the help of proton ion beam as a team of Saha Instititute of Nuclear Physics is now working on a research project indigenously on how ion beams could be used in treating cancer patients.

A team of 20 scientists of molecular mechanism of disease branch of SINP has initiated the research recently. The therapy is likely to be made available in Bengal next year.

Milan Sanyal, director Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, said till now cancer treatment through proton ion beam for treating cancer is used in Germany and parts of UK and if proton ion beams could be indigenously created in Bengal, it can help in treating millions of cancer patients.

"Till now in Bengal radiotherapy is used for treating cancer cells and as a result, apart from cancer cells many other cells get damaged. With the help of ion beams we can give radiation to only cancer affected cells" Sanyal added.

Experts on radiation therapy are of the opinion that radiation through proton beam therapy will be more localised and the cost of treatment will be 1/4 th less than the original.

Dr Jaydip Biswas, director of Chiittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI) said that if proton beam therapy is used in treatment of cancer patients, it's main advantage would be that normal cells of the patient will not get affected.

"In most of the cancer cases, surgery cannot be conducted in critical areas, especially in the prostate gland or blood vessels connecting main organs like liver and lungs. Proton beam therapy will be helpful in such cases," Biswas said.

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