Radiotherapy is a branch of medical science involving treatment of disease using ionizing radiation. It is a modality which is used in treatment of cancer in almost 80-90% of cases and is considered to be one of the most economical modes of cancer therapy and is an integral part of modern multidisciplinary cancer management. Cancer is now the commonest cause of death in patients below 85 years age in the western population. The incidence of cancer has increased dramatically over the last few years. The World Health Organization has already warned the Medical Community regarding an impending cancer explosion by the year 2020 the brunt of which will be borne by the developing world. This has lead to a frenetic exercise amongst healthcare professionals and regulatory authorities to increase cancer awareness and improve cancer treatment facilities. This effort has shown some success with generation of a high index of suspicion leading to earlier detection of cancer. The early detection of cancer coupled with better management facilities and protocol based treatment has led to better treatment related outcomes and lesser treatment toxicity leading to approaches where the focus today is on organ conservation. Patients’ aspirations have also undergone a sea change and today quality of life is as important as disease cure in cancer patients.
This success is a result of years of research leading to more efficient and less mutilating surgery, less toxic and more accurately targeted radiotherapy techniques like IMRT, IGRT and SBRT, safer chemotherapy drugs and biological agents, particularly immunotherapy and improvements in ancillary modalities like radio diagnosis, nuclear medicine and so on.
Eastern India has been one of the pioneers in radiotherapy in India. Many stalwarts in the field hail from this part of the country. Institutes like CNCI and CMC were once considered amongst the finest in the country. Over the last decade, there has been resurgence in eastern India in radiotherapy. Today, we can boast of the finest machines, radiation oncologists, physicists and technicians in the country. The quality control of such centers is stringent with the AERB and BARC being their regulatory authorities. The future of cancer treatment and radiotherapy in India might be led by this part of the country provided we can continue to develop and evolve as a discipline.
The Best of ASTRO event allows us to interact & align with the world’s leading organisation in radiation oncology, namely the American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).