The researches find that safer treatment with the Pro Beam Proton Therapy System; the first of such advance radiation treatment system in Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Because The system; which costs about $32 million; has been successfully install at the Biopolis by Proton Therapy; a subsidiary of healthcare diagnostics service provider Singapore Institute of Advance Medicine Holdings (SAM). It is schedule to be operational in early 2020.
Advanced radiation treatment
It administers proton therapy treatment; a technologically-advance method whereby high-energy proton beams target and kill cancer cells with precision. This means that, unlike the standard method of X-ray radiation therapy; less radiation is give out beyond the affect area; thereby reducing the risk of healthy-tissue damage due to side effects.
Proton therapy has shown promise in treatment of several kinds of cancer; such as cancer of the prostate, spine; head and neck. It is also useful for treating childhood cancers; as children receiving such treatment have a lower risk of abnormal growth. More than 150,000 cancer patients worldwide have been treated using such therapy. Malaysian badminton star Lee Chong Wei was one of them; undergoing such treatment; in Taiwan after being diagnosed for nose cancer in 2018.
Advance medical technologies
During a presentation of the installed system at Biopolis on Tuesday (14 May) that such advance medical technologies dramatically improve the outcome of healthcare and the quality of life for patients. The 73-year-old add; “Patients benefit from faster scan times, lower radiation dosage, as well as early and accurate detection of small lesions all performed in an environment which offers patients an experience free from anxiety and stress.
“This advanced treatment technology has the potential of offering new hope to many cancer patients. I believe it be a game-changer in radiation therapy.” The biggest drawback for such treatment is its high cost. It is estimate to be about 2.5 times higher than current radiation therapy; which range between $100,000 to $200,000 yearly.
National Environment Agency
To address this issue, SAM said that two companies, Aviva Singapore and DBS/POSB, have included proton therapy treatment as part of their insurance benefits. Aviva Singapore, for example, has the Medisave-approved My Shield plan which introduced a new benefit in January for proton beam therapy, with shared can outpatient treatments ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 a year.
The installed system now awaits being encase in reinforce concrete walls to prevent radiation out of the treatment room. It then has to be approve for usage by both the Ministry of Health ; and the National Environment Agency before going operational.