Shang­hai be­gins trial of ma­jor cancer ther­apy

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - China - By WANG HONGYI in Shang­hai

An ad­vanced and ex­pen­sive treat­ment for can­cer­ous tu­mors has be­gun clin­i­cal tri­als in Shang­hai and is ex­pected to re­duce the num­ber of Chi­nese pa­tients who travel over­seas for the pro­ce­dure.

The first trial of the pro­ton and heavy ion treat­ment was per­formed on a 71-yearold man who suf­fered from prostate cancer. He re­ceived the treat­ment at the Shang­hai Pro­ton and Heavy Ion Cen­ter ear­lier this month.

So far, no ad­verse ef­fects have been re­ported af­ter the treat­ment, ac­cord­ing to the med­i­cal staff.

Known as par­ti­cle ther­apy, the treat­ment uses the beams of pro­tons or heavy ions to ir­ra­di­ate dis­eased tis­sue, es­pe­cially tu­mors.

The ad­van­tage of par­ti­cle ther­apy, com­pared with other forms of ex­ter­nal-beam ra­dio­ther­apy such as X-ray ther­apy, is its abil­ity to more pre­cisely tar­get the dis­eased area. Mean­while, the dosage out­side of the treat­ment area is sig­nif­i­cantly less, which helps re­duce the dam­age to healthy tis­sue. The ther­apy has been in use for a long time, and is viewed as a ma­ture treat­ment tech­nol­ogy.

How­ever, be­cause of the high cost of re­search and de­vel­op­ment, it has been adopted in few de­vel­oped coun­tries. It is cur­rently in use in the United States, Ja­pan and Ger­many.

In re­cent years, a grow­ing num­ber of Chi­nese pa­tients have trav­eled over­seas to re­ceive the ad­vanced treat­ment.

The ef­fort to bring the ther­apy to China has been in de­vel­op­ment in Shang­hai for about 10 years.

Lo­cated at the city’s Pudong district, the Shang­hai Pro­ton and Heavy Ion Cen­ter of­fi­cially went into oper­a­tion in 2013. It is man­aged by the Shang­hai Cancer Cen­ter, a hospi­tal af­fil­i­ated with Fu­dan Univer­sity.

The cen­ter is the first hospi­tal in China, and third in the world that is equipped with both pro­ton and heavy ion treat­ment tech­niques.

“We will care­fully choose pa­tients to re­ceive treat­ment. The mat­ter of prime im­por­tance is to en­sure pa­tients’ safety, so we will have a thor­ough and com­pre­hen­sive eval­u­a­tion of each pa­tient’s con­di­tion be­fore car­ry­ing out the ther­apy,” said Jiang Guo­liang, a ra­di­a­tion on­col­ogy pro­fes­sor who is also the chief tech­nol­ogy of­fi­cer at the cen­ter.

He spoke at the 53rd An­nual Con­fer­ence of the Par­ti­cle Ther­apy Co-Op­er­a­tive Group in Shang­hai ear­lier this month.

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