‘There is a need to study new technology for cancer treatment’
There is considerable doubt whether precision therapy works but it is being recommended. There are no studies to see whether the new technology is better than the existing ones. MICHEAL BRADA, professor of radiation oncology, Department of Molecular and Clinical Cancer Medicine, University of Liverpool
MUMBAI: Doctors and cancer researchers have said that there is a need to re-examine new technologies that are currently employed in cancer treatments world-wide.
The three-day long conference on cancer, which started on February 26, organised by the Tata Memorial Centre to mark the completion of 75 years of the hospital, doctors said the new technologies in treatment may look appealing but that does not necessarily mean that it is efficient.
In a session themed ‘Harnessing technology for cancer treatment-who benefits?’, Micheal Brada, professor of radiation oncology, Department of Molecular and Clinical Cancer Medicine, University of Liverpool, said, “Unlike drugs, technology is allowed to run away without much scrutiny. A patient needs to sell his/her house, becomes impoverished only because of the hype that surrounds a new technology.”
Talking about ‘Precision medicine’, a relatively new model in cancer treatment that proposes the customisation of medical decisions, practices and products based on a patients genetic analysis, Dr Brada added, “There is considerable doubt whether precision therapy works but it is being aggressively recommended. There are no studies to see whether the new technology is better than the existing ones.”
“Many new technologies have been fast-tracked into clinical practice for the commercial interest of the manufacturing companies. These new technolo gies like new Radiation therapy machines, machines for robotic surgeries are expensive and appealing. However, we need to evaluate their efficacy,” said a doctor from the Tata Memorial Hospital, who was attending the conference. Around 1,000 oncologists and researchers from across the globe attended the meet.