UK to adopt Indian-origin expert’s breast cancer treatment

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Jul 26, 2014 18:13 IST
Indian-origin-cancer-expert-Jayant-Vaidya-Source-jayantvaidya-org

A pioneering breast cancer treatment developed by noted Indian-origin expert Jayant Vaidya is to be adopted and offered to patients by Britain’s National Health Service (NHS), providing relief to thousands of patients from gruelling post-operation radiotherapy.

Vaidya, who is a professor of surgery and oncology at University College London, developed the treatment called TARGIT, which offers a new form of radiotherapy that is delivered during surgery, and saves the patient from returning for weeks of further treatment.

On Friday, Britain’s health authorities indicated that the single-dose radio-therapy treatment would be adpted and offered to patients widely on the NHS.

Vaidya, who hails from Goa, told HT that he was keen to bring the technology to India, particularly because it would save patients who travel long distances to cities from returning frequently for post-operative treatment. TARGIT is now used in 200 centres around the world, he said.

Vaidya, who developed the technique in a laboratory in India before moving to the UK and then took it further with London-based colleagues, said he treated his first patient in the UK in 1998 and since then thousands had benefited during trials.

Carole Longson, director National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, said on Friday: “Unlike regular radiotherapy, with the intrabeam radiotherapy system only one dose is required. This single dose is given at the same time as surgery, eliminating the need for numerous hospital visits”.

She added: “Regular radiotherapy typically requires numerous doses over a three-week period, although some people may receive it for longer, and is performed weeks or months after surgery or chemotherapy.”

Vaidya said that during his recent visit to Goa, chief minister Manohar Parrikar had shown much interest in TARGIT, which stands for targeted intraoperative radio therapy. A global expert in the field, Vaidya has held leading positions and won several awards.

Vaidya said: “From a patient’s point of view, you have a lumpectomy and when you leave the operating theatre your treatment is finished. Patients have said to me many times it is less stressful and the impact of the disease is less because of this”.

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