CUTTACK: Despite reservations from some sections over its utility as well as location, the State Government has decided to go ahead with plans for setting up the Gamma Knife Radiotherapy unit at Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Centre (AHRCC).
The Gamma Knife Perfexon Facility, which deals with treatment of brain tumour and diseases including cancer, will be shared by AHRCC and Neurosurgery Department of SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack.
The facility would be installed at AHRCC Lineac Accelerator (LINAC) complex, which is in the final stages of construction.
A technical committee comprising AIIMS - New Delhi, head of Neurosurgery Prof GK Rath, AIIMS - Bhubaneswar, Director Prof AK Mohapatra, AHRCC Director Prof SK Giri and SCBMCH, head of Neurosurgery Prof SS Mishra have recommended establishment of the Gamma Knife Unit claiming it to have distinct advantages over other radiotherapy procedures as Lineac Accelerator (LINAC) and X-knife.
The proposal has also been vetted by the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) and the process for procurement is set to start soon.
According to sources, the equipment and machinery for the unit would be procured and installed within a set deadline of six months. Under the conditions, the supplier will depute a senior technical hand for operations of Gamma Knife Unit for two years as well as train staff of the hospital.
The facility will be complemented with an MRI unit that would be installed on the same floor.
The project would function under an inter-departmental team of surgeons of the Neurosurgery Department and radiation oncologists of AHRCC.
Gamma Knife Radiosurgery is a non-invasive neurosurgical procedure that enables elimination of tumours, lesions and diseased tissues of the brain by using high doses of radiation from different angles.
Besides brain cancer, the procedure can be used for benign residual tumours, atrio venous malformations, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease.
Being non-invasive, it can be conducted as an outpatient service.
However, there have been some questions over the management of the advanced facility.
With both the Radiation Oncology Department of the AHRCC and the Neurosurgery Department suffering from staff crunch, delegating personnel for the new unit would be difficult.
Further, dual administration may lead to coordination issues. There have been demands for establishing it at SCBMCH as part of the planned upgradation of the Neurosurgery Department as a Centre of Excellence.
The Gamma Knife Unit facility would cost around `37 crore to `40 crore. Unless it is operated in a full-fledged manner with total staff adequacy to provide maximum benefits to the patients, the entire exercise would be futile, sources said.