Dr. Balabhai Nanavati Hospital Department of Radiation Oncology was set up in 1980 to provide radiation therapy to patients.
Established to impart Hyperthermic treatment, this facility is unique to our centre, and initial studies have demonstrated excellent results, comparable to data published in the west.
Hyperthermia refers to heating of cancerous tissue to temperatures of 410 - 450° C, in order to render cancer cells inactive. Heat alone, or together with radiation and chemotherapy, helps mobilise cell kill rates. Head and neck cancer, and some pelvic tumours, can be effectively treated. The division will soon begin a prospective trial to prove its initial findings, with the support of the Indian Council of Medical Research.
A prospective trial to assess the benefits of hyperthermia treatment in HIV patients is also on the anvil.
The department is also very active in the field of research. Multicentric trials with reputed institutes like the International Atomic Energy Agency and Department of Atomic Energy of India have been conducted. We work closely with the Indian Institute of Technology and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, in our research pursuits
Advanced Centre for Radiation Oncology (ACRO) is the new wing of the Division of Radiation Oncology at Nanavati Hospital. The new wing situated at third level basement boasts of dual energy photon linear accelerator from Elekta, a Swedish company. Precise Digital Linear Accelerator not only has 6 & 15 MV photons but six levels of electrons as well. LA is also equipped with MLC for intensity modulated radiation with online imaging. Virtual wedge is a unique feature of this machine. In vivo digital dosimeter monitors actual delivery of planned radiation. Precise plan is a high end computerized planning system connected to CT & MRI scans to facilitate virtual simulation and IMRT planning is done on this machine with a special algorithm using inverse planning.
What does it all mean to the patient? This is about high precision delivery of high energy radiation to cancer embedded deep in the entrails of the body, but at the same time sparing radiation injury to normal tissues. It is much like snugly fitting stocking on a delicate leg, high dose of radiation enveloping tumour. The advantage for the patients would be to reduce acute and late toxicities while enhancing chances of cure. Prostate cancer, Head and neck cancers and cervical cancer are eminently suitable for IMRT.