A boon for cancer, osteoarthritis
Jul 12, 2005 |
By Sahana Charan
BANGALORE: This therapy could turn out to be a breakthrough in
tissue engineering and a boon for cancer and osteoarthritis
The Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM) of the Indian Air Force
and the Bangalore-based Centre for Advanced Research and Development
(CARD) have taken up a project to study the efficacy of high-power
electromagnetic beams in the treatment of end-stage cancer.
Of the 50 terminally ill cancer patients with whom the project
was initiated in July 2004, 35 have survived so far. Of these, 20
patients have gone back to work. All these patients were given only
a few weeks to live and had been sent home as their condition was
The patients had also suffered side-effects of chemotherapy and
radiotherapy such as pain, loss of hair and appetite. Unlike these
treatments, the new method is non-invasive and painless.
"The results have been very encouraging," said Wing Commander
V.G. Vasistha, Head of the Department of Radiology at IAM and
Principal Investigator of the project. Rajah Vijay Kumar of CARD is
CARD has developed a device "cytotron," with technical support
from the IAM, which can deliver high-intensity quantum magnetic
resonance beams (as is done in an MRI machine) from 288 specialised
guns that are focussed on a particular tissue.
Through a new method called "Rotational Field Nuclear Quantum
Magnetic Resonance (RFQMR)," the beams are used to alter cell
division so that the cells either multiply or cell growth can be
According to Wg. Cdr. Vasistha, in the case of cancer, the beams
are controlled electronically to arrest the rapid multiplication of
cells and destroy the tumour, by adjusting it to a specific
In patients with osteoarthritis, the beams are targeted at the
affected part (the knee) for a particular number of exposures that
produces a signal to regenerate cartilage.
"We are conducting phase 1 of the clinical trials wherein only
cancer patients who were terminally ill were chosen. They had
exhausted all other treatment modalities such as surgery,
radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and RFQMR was the last resort for
them. Another criterion was that the tumour had to be localised for
the beams to target the particular tissue, to destroy it. We have
used the therapy for treating various cancers, including lung,
brain, liver, stomach, ovary, pancreas, oesophageal cancer," Wg.
Cdr. Vasistha said.
One of the patients, who is an ENT specialist, came to the IAM
with a brain tumour in October last year.
He had earlier been operated upon and part of the tumour was
removed. Even during radiotherapy, the tumour continued to grow and
the patient suffered from paralysis. After being exposed to RFQMR
beams, the tumour was arrested and he has resumed his practice, Wg.
Cdr. Vasistha said.
The patients are exposed to the beams for one hour every day for
28 days. Almost all the patients had relief from pain in a few days.
Earlier, the IAM had initiated a project to treat 120
patients suffering from osteoarthritis. After being treated with
RFQMR, all the patients experienced pain relief in just five
exposures and could walk for some distance. The findings of this
project has been documented and published in a scientific journal,
Wg. Cdr. Vasistha said.