Qatar’s cancer survival rates comparable to West
October 08 2017 02:21 AM
Prof Dr K R Alexander Knuth

Qatar, which has most of the latest technologies for treating cancer, can claim treatment results comparable to the outcomes in western countries regarding survival rate, a top official of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has told Gulf Times.
“As a recent article in the Lancet - a leading international medical journal; CONCORD-2 Study - demonstrated, the outcomes of the Stem Cell Transplant Programme, as measured by the 100 day post-transplant survival rates of 100% are meeting internationally set benchmarks. The patients’ experience is remarkably positive,” said Prof Dr K R Alexander Knuth, medical director and CEO, National Center for Cancer Care & Research (NCCCR), HMC.
Dr Knuth maintained that HMC offers full range of evidence based cancer treatments which are delivered by specialists in each type of cancer. 
“We have introduced a number of advanced technologies. They include: Minimally invasive and robotic surgery; Adaptive Brachytherapy; MR-Guided Focused Ultrasound; CyberKnife; Breast Care Clinic and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation,” he explained.
“In 2015, the Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Unit performed its first blood stem cell transplant. To date, 24 patients have received blood stem cell transplants with an excellent outcome. All patients are doing well. This is an example of highly specialised medicine and represents the start of the cellular therapy programme for the treatment of cancer,” said Dr Knuth.
Dr Knuth said that for the minimally invasive and robotic surgery, expert surgeons who are specially trained using the latest technology, provide a range of sophisticated and minimally invasive techniques such as those available for some types of urological cancer or cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. 
“The Department of Radiation Oncology at NCCCR has introduced a sophisticated technique called Magnetic Resonance Image Guided Adaptive Brachytherapy which is used for the treatment of patients with cervical cancer. This evidence-based treatment technique can significantly improve the results of treatment in patients with inoperable cervical cancer,” said Dr Knuth.
“The Department of Radiation Oncology has also introduced MR-Guided Focused Ultrasound for the treatment of cancer that has spread to the bones. The NCCCR is the first hospital in the GCC region and one of only 17 centres globally with the capacity to perform these treatments under MRI guidance,” he said.
According to the official, CyberKnife is a robotic radiosurgery system which utilises a robotic system that delivers high-dose radiation therapy with extreme precision providing patients with a pain-free, non-surgical option of treatment. It also offers a new treatment option for patients with inoperable or surgically complex tumours. 
“The Breast Care Clinic at NCCCR is a multidisciplinary specialised service for rapid clinical examination, breast imaging and a core biopsy if a lump is found or confirmed. This is a quick, high quality service for detecting early breast disease and providing a personalised plan of care for patients,” added the official.

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