Proton beam therapy for cancer to be available in Singapore by early 2023 & More Trending News


SINGAPORE – Proton beam therapy, a complicated type of radiation remedy that may goal cancer tumours with better precision and minimise harm to surrounding tissues and organs, ought to be available in Singapore by the primary quarter of 2023.

The Goh Cheng Liang Proton Therapy Centre on the new National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) constructing in Outram will begin operations in the primary quarter of 2023. Two different centres in the non-public sector may also provide proton beam therapy from across the identical time. 

Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital plans to provide the therapy from subsequent February. The Singapore Institute of Advanced Medicine Holdings (SAM), a brand new cancer centre in Biopolis Drive, is awaiting the go-ahead from the authorities to begin providing it, probably by the top of 2022, mentioned its chairman and CEO, Dr Djeng Shih Kien.

While typical radiotherapy makes use of X-rays, proton beam therapy makes use of positively charged subatomic particles that permit for extra exact focusing on of cancer cells.

This causes much less harm to close by wholesome tissues and organs, which implies there are fewer treatment-related negative effects. The threat of creating secondary cancers due to radiation can also be decreased, mentioned Dr Soong Yoke Lim, the deputy chairman and senior guide on the radiation oncology division at NCCS.

This is why it’s endorsed for younger sufferers under the age of 25, he mentioned. The therapy is especially appropriate for cancers positioned in delicate areas just like the mind, or close to the attention or spinal wire, for instance. 

Professor Robert Malyapa, director of SAM’s proton therapy centre, who has expertise treating sufferers with the therapy in the United States, mentioned that not like X-rays which passes by way of the tumour after which exits the physique, protons deposit a burst of power on the finish of their path, which is called the Bragg peak. There is not any exit dose of radiation because the proton beam stops on the tumour.

“With conventional radiation, for example, it may come from such a direction that the areas that you don’t want to treat gets treated,” mentioned Dr Soong.

He mentioned there isn’t any distinction between proton therapy and standard therapy the place remedy charges are involved, as a result of the dose of radiation delivered to the tumour is analogous.

Still, it was a no brainer for Mr Peter Wong to ship his then 21-year-old son Samuel for proton therapy in Taiwan in 2019, after he was recognized with stage one nasopharyngeal cancer in Singapore. Radiotherapy is the primary remedy for such a cancer.

Mr Wong mentioned he claimed from Samuel’s important sickness insurance coverage and paid $100,000 for the proton beam remedy alone. In Taiwan, his son went by way of 33 classes of proton therapy for 5 days per week in addition to six weekly classes of chemotherapy.

“I lost my sense of taste of sugar, salt, bitterness and sourness… Eating pepper was almost the same as taking a bite of chilli padi, and that happened for about six months after the treatment,” Mr Samuel Wong mentioned.

His left ear was additionally affected as his tumour was positioned very shut to the eustachian tube, which helps to steadiness the stress between the internal and outer ear. He now experiences a everlasting blocked-ear sensation, as if he’s on a airplane, mentioned Dr Soong.

Proton beam know-how is dear. SAM spent round $85 million on its proton beam facility, Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital put in shut to $80 million on its facility whereas NCCS invested $100 million on its system. NCCS’ facility has 4 remedy areas served by one particle accelerator, whereas the opposite two centres have one remedy area every.

Prof Malyapa mentioned a course of proton beam remedy can encompass at the very least 25 to as many as 37 classes, relying on the severity of the cancer. Each session at SAM will value $2,800-$2,900, mentioned Dr Djeng.

Proton beam therapy for cancer to be available in Singapore by early 2023

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Proton beam therapy for cancer to be available in Singapore by early 2023

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Proton beam therapy for cancer to be available in Singapore by early 2023

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