FARIDABAD/MUMBAI, February 07, 2024: Dr. Bhaskar Viswanathan, HoD, Department of Radiation Oncology, Amrita Hospital, Faridabad, has been recently selected for a research grant, meant to develop an indigenous robotic ultrasound for tumor motion and radiation hyperthermia for cancer treatment. The technology would be developed in association with Dr. Avinash Eranki, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Medical Ultrasound Research Laboratory of Indian Institute of Technology - Hyderabad, Eranki Labs Private Limited, and Amrita Centre for Advanced Robotics.
Dr. Bhaskar Viswanathan, Head of Radiation Oncology Department at Amrita Hospital, Faridabad said, “It is a matter of immense pleasure and pride for us that we have been selected for this grant to indigenously develop robot-assisted ultrasound system for image-guided therapies and hyperthermia for cancer patients. It is a non-invasive technique that uses focused ultrasound waves and has a huge potential in cancer treatment like tumor ablation, mild hyperthermia for radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and motion management during radiation delivery.”
“This cutting-edge technology will allow precise localization of lesions, enabling targeted and effective delivery of therapeutic radiation and avoiding damage to the surrounding tissue and organs. Robotic ultrasound plays an important role in guiding the delivery of hyperthermia by accurately locating the tumor and monitoring its motion during treatment. Real-time tracking can be crucial in ensuring that hyperthermia is delivered precisely to the intended target,” the doctor said.
He explained that tumors in the body can move due to factors like breathing and organ motion. Tracking this motion is crucial for accurately delivering radiation therapy. Robotic ultrasound systems can be used to track the movement of tumors in real-time. They use robotic arms equipped with ultrasound transducers to continuously monitor the tumor position during treatment, thus improving targeting accuracy.
Hyperthermia involves raising the temperature of the tumor region to make cancer cells more sensitive to radiation. It also improves blood flow to the tumor, enhancing the delivery of oxygen and chemotherapy. Combining hyperthermia with radiation therapy can significantly enhance the therapeutic effects and theoretically allow for theoretic lower radiation doses, minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
Dr. Avinash Eranki, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, and CEO of Eranki Labs Pvt. Ltd. said, “The need for spatially precise and efficacious delivery of radiation and ultrasound energy is possibly key to improved outcomes in patients with debilitating cancer disease.”
“The collaboration with IIT Hyderabad and Eranki Labs Private Limited enhances the project's scope, leveraging the expertise of both medical and engineering domains. This interdisciplinary partnership is crucial for advancing technology in cancer care, emphasizing a holistic approach to treatment innovation. We expect to complete the project in 3 years, the grant for which was provided to us by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR),” added Dr. Viswanathan.