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AIIMS' step to ensure faster cure of cancers

All India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS) is going to install a new machine imported from the UK, which can help in combating many kinds of cancer in a much better manner. This machine will use an innovative technology called Image Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT), which will concentrate the incidence of radiation  directly on the affected tumour and  minimise the radiation exposure to the healthy tissues in close proximity to the tumour.

In radiotherapy through the conventional radiotherapy machines, more areas around the tumour are exposed to radiation, thereby affecting the healthy tissues. Through IGRT technology, however, the area around the tumour exposed to radiation will be much less. IGRT technology ensures instant location of the tumour, and concentration of bombardment of radiation directly to the tumour, leaving the surrounding areas relatively harmless. This not only will facilitate a faster and more effective way of  eliminating the tumour, but at the same time will reduce the number of complications that have the risk of rearing up during the course of cancer treatment through radiotherapy.

The IGRT technology is especially crucial for the treatment of moving tumours, and can be very much successful in the treatment of prostate cancer, gynaecological tumours, brain tumours, tumours in the head and abdomen, and breast and lung cancer.

IGRT technology is already in usage in many other countries, but in India this technology's introduction has been a nascent one. However, in India too AIIMS is not the first player to induct this technology for carcinogenic remedies; already some private hospitals in the country are using this technology. But AIIMS will be the first government hospital in the country to  introduce this technology. IGRT technology will be in use in AIIMS from sometimes in the later half of this year.  

Awake CABG comes in rural India

Recently St. Gregorios Cardio-Vascular Centre in Parumala, which is possibly the first rural cardiology centre in India, achieved the distinction of conducting two awake heart surgeries on two 65- year-old aged patients. Awake heart surgery is a rare surgical feat by any standards, and can serve as a great inspiration to the development of healthcare in rural India.  The four member team of doctors, led by Dr. Pankaj Kumar Srivastava, carried out Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) on the patients, while the patients were awake and chatting. One of the operations was five-hour long, while the other extended to four hours.

According to Dr. Srivastava, heart surgery assumes increasing complication for patients having other diseases like lung ailments and thyroid problems, and thus for those patents  Awake Heart Surgery is the preferred option, rather than going in for general anaesthesia or a heart-lung machine. In awake heart surgery,  high thoracic epidural anaesthesia (TEA) is being used. Now this milestone in tertiary care has at last been achieved. Just a few hours after the surgery, patients were sipping coffee.  

A partnership to tackle the AIDS menace

AIDS has become  one of the most critical problems plaguing the Indian healthcare scenario. The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) of the Ministry of Science & Technology and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) have recently signed an agreement to design candidate vaccines for bringing out neutralising antibodies against HIV.  A new Indian medicinal chemistr

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