The duration of radiation oncology pg- course in INDIA to be extended from present 3yrs to 5 yrs.

The postgraduate course in RO in INDIA is going on since 1970’s .we have come a long way since then. There are 83 institutions now offering a postgraduate course on the subject. There are two national bodies, i.e., MCI & NBE recognize these courses. There are about 145 students are taking up the MD course and  60  students appearing for DNB. With the present growth of radiation oncology in the fields of basics sciences, conformal radiation, targeted therapies resulting in personalized medicine is demanding much more training and study duration from the young graduates. Collaterally the other oncology courses such as surgical & medical oncology courses have comprehensively encompassed the training and are for five years to become super specialists. Our young radiation oncologists are required to study the current developments within three yrs that puts a lot of strain to become basic specialists. This serious matter needs rectification right away. When we look at these courses elsewhere in the world majority of the places, it is 4-5 years.

Therefore,  I feel it is high time we thoroughly discuss this issue in our AROI meetings. Also recommend to MCI & NBE to change the course duration from 3 to 5 yrs and to redesignate radiotherapy course to radiation oncology in conformity with other oncology super specialties.

In this regard, I have proposed one day workshop of the interested teaching faculties and students to participate in a day-long discussion in Lucknow on the pre-conference day.

Waiting to see you.

Brachytherapy in head & neck cancer is a dying science?

Brachytherapy was commonly practiced few decades back in treating HNC by radiation. In early cases, it was used as a solo modality n in advanced cases as a boost therapy with external radiation. The results were very gratifying at that time. However as the years passed by the technological advancement in external radiation such as IMRT, IGRT has changed the outlook of the use of brachytherapy in HNC. Also the newer chemotherapeutic regimens have also made a tremendous impact in the control of these diseases. The techniques were practiced by a few trained radiation oncologist in select centers in INDIA. The procedure was time-consuming and dependent on the availability of operation theater, anaesthetist. Also it was not a monetarily rewarding. To augment the problem the cost of equipment including the radioactive isotopes started skyrocketing throwing the brachytherapy usage to a downward trend. There are several hardcore brachytherapist both in INDIA & abroad of using brachytherapy in HNC particularly in recurrent setting. The results of which are very gratifying.

To listen for more please attend the debate on head neck brachytherapy has it lost its relevance in modern radiotherapy moderated by myself at Indian brachytherapy conference 2015.  30 August 11:45 am venue: The Hotel Hindustan International, Kolkata. Eminent participants Dr V Kannan (Mumbai), Dr Indranil Malik, will be speaking For;  Dr Sanjiv Sharma (Bengaluru) & Dr Nikos Tselis (Germany) will be against. Followed by summation of the proceedings by Dr Kanti Pal.

Hope to see you in Kolkata

Past National President AROI

6x4.03 copiesPresidential Address:

I thank all the AROI members for electing me unanimously.  I thank Dr. Hukku for installing me & assuring him that I will continue his good work & some of the areas which he would not complete during his tenure. My focus on this year would be encourage the various institutions both in Govt & non govt to establish more treatment centers which will help the patients to access the facility nearer to their hometowns. This brings the question, more training facilities with professionals to catch up with advance technology for which AROI should conduct

CME/WORKSHOP at regional levels.

To setup various sub committee which will work on various topics of interest such as Liaison with the govt, vendors, statutory bodies (MCI, DNB, AERB) & networking with all the state chapters.

At International level, to continue the relationship already built with ESTRO & ASTRO and enhance the relationship further & also from Asian Society of Radiation Oncology.

To encourage our members working in non academic institutions to develop scientific papers to do their non practical clinical research in their field. To initiate the formation of young radiation oncologists & women radiation oncologists wing to encourage them to discuss issues & participate in the main organisation. Earlier in 1980 the number of new radiotherapy installations which took place was around 8 in number where as in 2011 it was around 198. According to present AERB data (Mar-2012) the total number of machines available in the country is around 473 out of which 237 is of COBALT & 232 is of LINAC facility.