New therapies are not only making cancer cure easier and faster but improving the quality of life while having the least detrimental effect on the body. Cancer experts from Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre (RGCIRC) New Delhi shared new technologies/ therapies for treating different kinds of cancers. Dr Sudhir K Rawal, Medical Director & Chief of Genito Uro Oncology at RGCIRC shared new insights on Robotics in Uro Oncology while Dr Vineet Talwar, Director – Medical Oncology at RGCIRC presented new vistas in cancer cure through Immunotherapy.
Robotic surgery has revolutionized cancer surgery especially for the cancers of Prostate, Urinary Bladder, Kidney and Uterus. RGCIRC has the distinction of having undertaken maximum no of cancer surgeries through robotics in South Asia, said Dr Rawal.
Robotic surgery has unique advantages over traditional surgeries as incision is very small, it causes less blood loss, less pain, leads to early recovery, entails less hospital stay and less amount of analgesic (painkiller) drug requirement post operation, he added.
In Gynecology, Robotic surgery is being used for Uterine Cancer and Cervix Cancer. Higher expense has been a deterrent in wider application of robotics in cancer surgeries. However, now the technology is becoming cheaper. Many new companies are entering the fray, Dr Rawal revealed.
“Immunotherapy has emerged as a game changing therapy in cancer treatment as the quality of life is much better in it. ” said Dr Vineet Talwar.
“So far it used to be only chemotherapy. Now targeted and immunotherapy is being used increasingly. Targeted therapy drugs look for targets at the cancer sites and are given in addition to conventional chemotherapy drugs to increase the killing of cancer cells and thereby increase survival rates and maintaining good quality of life in the patient . In case of Immunotherapy, which is state-of-the-art therapy, the immune system of the body is charged upto such an extent, that the natural killer cells of the body itself fight against the cancer cells and push them out of the Body”, said Dr Talwar.
Immunotherapy has a completely different mechanism of action as compared to conventional chemotherapy. However, these therapies in many clinical settings are not competitive options, but Synergistic or complimentary. Immunotherapy for now has approvals in advanced stages of cancers, and chemotherapy still has an important role in early as well as advanced cancers, added Dr Talwar.