Clinical & Radiation Oncology at SKMCH&RC, Lahore
Almost 60% of the patients diagnosed with cancer will require radiotherapy during the course of their treatment. Radiotherapy, also commonly referred to as radiation therapy, is the technology that uses different types of high-energy radiation to damage or kill cancer cells so they cannot reproduce, making it an innovative, life-saving tool in the treatment of patients with cancer.
It can be used as a standalone therapy, or in conjunction with other cancer treatments. Radiotherapy is frequently employed in the treatment of metastatic and recurrent cancer, and in many cases, it can provide months and even years of high-quality life. When it is used near the end of life, it is an effective and efficient means of managing the pain which may accompany progressive cancer.
The Department of Clinical and Radiation Oncology is comprehensively equipped with sophisticated technologies to deliver both external-beam therapy and brachytherapy.
The infrastructure available for external-beam therapy includes five linear accelerators, all with IMRT, IGRT, and VMAT capability, a large bore CT simulator and a 4D CT simulator, deep inspiration breath hold (DIBH) capability, high-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy and a comprehensive treatment planning system.
Three linear accelerators are multi-energy electron linear accelerators with the most advanced and high-precision Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT), Stereotactic Radiosurgery with Hyper Arc™, Rapid Arc and On-Board Imager. On-Board Imager or Cone beam CT scan, installed on the treatment couch, allows daily verification of the target, thus ensuring that the desired dose is being delivered to the targeted area.
SKMCH&RC, Lahore is the first institution to initiate Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy (SABR) or Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) services in this part of Pakistan, thus providing access to world-class radiotherapy facility for cancer patients and transforming cancer care across the country. The TrueBeam radiotherapy system offers a wide spectrum of most advanced treatment modalities including the Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT), Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) with Hyper Arc™ and Rapid Arc radiotherapy, and Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT).
SABR/SBRT is emerging as an attractive option for treating cancers in the lung, head and neck, prostate, liver and other disease sites outside the central nervous system. The main advantage of SABR/SBRT is the capacity to escalate the dose to the target lesion and thus to increase local control while limiting dose to nearby critical organs and normal tissue.
All patients undergoing radiotherapy should have a planning CT scan in the position which can be reproduced on daily basis on machine and this CT is required for delineation of tumour. 4D CT takes into account the motion of tumour with respect to breathing cycle of the patient, which further decreases the chances of missing tumour while delivering radiotherapy.
Developments in radiotherapy imaging allow us to target tumours with sub-millimetre precision. Greater accuracy means that fewer healthy cells are damaged, which, in turn, means higher doses can be given. This makes treatment more effective and reduces side effects.
We also offer brachytherapy which is mainly used to treat gynaecological cancers, prostate and rectum cancers where the radiotherapy isotope is placed within or in vicinity of the tumour and delivers a very high dose to the cancer cells. At SKMCH&RC, we perform almost 60 procedures every month.
Training Opportunities for Physicians
- CPSP Approved Radiation Oncology Training Program
- Fellowiship in Radiation oncology
- Fellowship in Clinical and Radiation Oncology