Cutting-edge cancer treatment facility benefits patients across region

A cutting-edge facility for cancer treatment in Shanghai has benefited not only local patients but those from the entire Yangtze River Delta region.
Imaginechina

The Shanghai Proton and Heavy Ion Center.

A cutting-edge facility for cancer treatment in Shanghai has benefited not only local patients but those from the entire Yangtze River Delta region, where the majority of patients at the Shanghai Proton and Heavy Ion Center come from.

The center has received 1,310 cancer patients over the past three years since its official opening in May, 2015, more than 60 percent of whom come from Shanghai and Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Anhui provinces of the Yangtze Delta region, the center said.

To make it convenient for patients from outside Shanghai, the center also set up an online consultation platform to offer free consultation and guidance to patients from home and abroad.

The center is China’s first — and the world’s third — such facility to use advanced forms of radiotherapy to treat cancer. It uses cutting-edge beams of protons and heavy ions to target and kill cancerous tissue without harming nearby healthy tissue and cells.

So far, the treatments cover nearly 40 types of cancer, including the ten most prevalent cancers found in China.

Cancer in the brain, lungs, liver, prostate and nasopharynx are the major types of cancer that the center targets, which covers about 60 percent of all patients it has treated. Most cases show positive effects, with follow-up visits showing at least a 90 percent survival rate one or two years after treatment.

The introduction and clinical use of proton and heavy ion radiation therapy has greatly improved China’s treatment capability, and provided more effective therapy for patients all over the nation, especially those in the Yangtze River Delta region.

With the success of the center in Shanghai, other provinces have also started plans to introduce or develop proton and heavy ion facilities.

The center has been sharing its experiences with counterparts in other provinces and also set up a standard for clinical treatment to streamline the introduction and use of proton and heavy ion technology in other regions.

The incidence of cancer continues to rise by 3 to 5 percent annually across the world, and it is the top killer of Chinese people. In Shanghai, 26 out of every 1,000 people are newly diagnosed with cancer every year.


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