BARC develops eye cancer therapy for treatment of ocular tumours

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New Delhi, Dec 29 (PTI) The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai has developed an eye cancer therapy in the form of the first indigenous Ruthenium 106 Plaque for the treatment of ocular tumours, an official statement said on Tuesday.

The handling of plaque is very convenient for surgeons and it has been acknowledged to be at par with international standards, the statement said.

Minister of State for Atomic Energy Jitendra Singh has lauded the institute for developing the eye cancer therapy in the form of the first indigenous Ruthenium 106 Plaque, it added. In October last year, Chairman-cum-Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), K N Vyas had held a detailed discussion with Singh regarding the feasibility of developing this regimen of ophthalmic patches.

Following this, on the intervention of Singh, the Department of Atomic Energy entered into a collaboration with Dr Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.

Later, the AIIMS agreed to use the plaque developed by the BARC for eye cancer treatment and in September 2020, it was used for the first time for the treatment of a patient with choroidal hemangioma and the results proved to be satisfactory.

According to Atul Kumar, a professor and the head of Dr Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, so far the BARC plaques have been used for seven cases of ocular cancer, out of which two were retinoblastoma, two choroidal melanoma, two ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN) and one case of choroidal hemangioma.

The plaque handling is very much surgeon-friendly and the preliminary results are very satisfactory, Kumar said.

Commenting on the breakthrough, Singh said in the last five years or so, the DAE has sought to further diversify its activities and applications for the benefit of common citizens.

He said developing indigenous plaque brachytherapy for eye cancer patients is also one such latest initiative in the area of medical management. This treatment modality has provided a simpler and cost-effective option for the patients, he said.

Singh informed that the Boroah Cancer Hospital in Guwahati, Assam has been co-opted with the Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital, Mumbai which functions under the aegis of the DAE.

The DAE is also contributing in other areas like for example the BARC is developing bullet-proof jackets for security personnel and in the agricultural sector, radiation techniques to extend shelf life of vegetable and food products are being applied. PTI PR DPB