KIMS, GE Healthcare and Varian Medical Systems join forces to increase cancer care access | Varian

KIMS, GE Healthcare and Varian Medical Systems join forces to increase cancer care access

  • KIMS to establish complete Oncology Centers at an investment of Rs.200 Crores
  • GE Discovery PET/CT imaging systems to detect disease at earliest possible stages; GE PET-Trace Medical Cyclotrons to produce Bio-markers; Varian Linear Accelerators to provide radiotherapy treatment.
  • India has an estimated 2.5 million patients undergoing treatment.

HYDERABAD - JUNE 29, 2010 – Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), GE Healthcare and Varian Medical Systems today are announcing a cooperative working relationship to jointly address the growing oncology needs in rural India. Under the cooperative relationship, KIMS plans to establish 10 "See and Treat" oncology centers with an investment of Rs.200 crores to acquire latest technology for these centres. The proposed network of centers will have one advanced GE Discovery PET/CT Molecular Imaging Systems each for detecting the disease at its earliest possible stage and 3 centrally located cyclotrons for producing FDG bio-markers required for the disease detection. Several of these centers will be equipped with radiotherapy and radio-surgery technology from Varian Medical Systems for treating patients. These first-of-its-kind, stand-alone, "See and Treat" cancer care centers are targeted for: 

  • Vijayawada &, Visakhapatanam in Andhra Pradesh
  • Bhubaneshwar in Orissa,
  • Thrissur in Kerala,
  • Pune & Nagpur in Maharashtra;
  • Raipur and Indore in Madhyapradesh;
  • Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu;
  • Patna, Bihar

GE Healthcare and Varian Medical Systems will provide turnkey assistance to equip these "See and Treat" cancer care centers in the above mentioned towns. The centers are expected to be functional by June 2011 and will also be capable of providing diagnostic services in cardiology and neurology.

"Cancer is a leading cause of death in India, but it can be treated and controlled if detected early. We do see a new good trend of cancer centers coming up in India - primarily in metropolitan areas. However, cancer is equally prevalent in small towns and rural areas. In fact India has among the world’s most prevalent incidence of mouth and tongue cancer. This cancer is killing people in small towns and villages because of the limited availability of specialists and medical technologies. Low awareness is another important factor and leads to non-recognition of disease even when symptoms are present. I have observed that people put off their diagnosis and sometimes treatment because it’s too expensive for them to travel to metropolitan clinics that have the needed technology and capabilities. People often come for diagnosis when the cancer is in stage III or IV when treatment is ineffective and the disease is irreversible. Our vision of locating "See and Treat" centers close to their homes will make early detection and treatment easy, cost-effective and help save many lives. I intend to start with 10 centers, but wish I could have one in every small town in India to help early detection and treatment of cancer" said Dr B Bhaskar Rao, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad.

"We are excited to begin this co-operation with GE Healthcare and Varian Medical Systems- both leading suppliers of healthcare solutions. Together, we can provide the healthcare sector in India with sophisticated and unparalleled molecular imaging diagnostic services and treatment, leveraging on the world-class facilities offered by our centers," he added.

A one-stop-facility for cancer, cardiac and neuro care in Tier II and III towns:

Molecular imaging is a combination of fields such as biology, medicine, pharmaceutics, physics, chemistry and engineering that allows physicians to detect, treat and monitor disease at the body’s cellular levels. Molecular imaging and scanning capabilities make multi-medical therapy possible. The most exciting result is the ability to diagnose health problems, such as cancer/ tumors, coronary artery disease, and neurological diseases in patients with no clear symptoms. Physicians can treat different patients according to specific situations, slow the progression of the disease, and evaluate the effects of treatment.

"Molecular imaging has huge potential to enable detection of diseases at a much earlier stage and change the way we manage the patient today,” said Terri Bresenham, Vice President, Molecular Imaging Business, GE Healthcare. “Molecular imaging techniques in combination with specific biomarkers are helping physicians to choose suitable medications for a particular patient, predict and monitor the effects of those medications, and personalize patients' treatments - hence contributing to a more efficient and higher quality treatment of common maladies like cancer, cardiovascular diseases or neurological disorders. Our vision is to detect and treat the molecular causes of diseases long before the patient ever experiences any symptom and GE is at the forefront of developing these early health solutions that will transform the future of healthcare. We are very pleased to partner with KIMS to take this advanced technology to the people in tier II and III towns, where such facilities do not exist today.”

The GE Discovery PET/CT systems will help doctors determine whether a suspicious growth is cancerous or benign in a single exam. Previously, doctors had to put patients through two separate scans to get similar information – with limited success. Medical research published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates integrated PET/CT exams provide extra information beyond that obtained with visually correlated PET and CT in 41% of cases because of its proven pinpoint accuracy in locating disease.

The proposed "See & Treat" cancer care centers will feature three cyclotrons - GE PET-Trace and CGMP laboratory that produces high yields of radioisotope biomarkers. These are essential for accurate PET diagnosis.

Mr. V. Raja, President, GE Healthcare South Asia, said: “We are extremely pleased to partner with KIMS, which is one of India’s most respected institutions. This strategic partnership is in line with our vision of "healthymagination" to reduce costs, increase healthcare access and improve quality & efficiency. GE Healthcare and KIMS shares a common dream of creating healthcare access for more people at affordable costs. We are both driven by a desire to change the future of healthcare by helping patients experience our Early Health, which focuses on early diagnosis rather than late disease. Together, we will be exploring the possibility of creating such centers of excellence across India.

Radiotherapy Treatment in Small Towns:

“This ambitious vision should make a big difference in providing advanced radiotherapy treatments for cancer patients in rural areas,” says Michael Sandhu, regional head of Varian’s Oncology Systems business. “Varian has always focused on providing technology and equipment that increases access to advanced radiotherapy treatments by lowering the overall cost per treatment. For example, our UNIQUE™ linear accelerators enable cutting-edge conformal radiotherapy techniques such as image-guided RapidArc® intensity modulated radiotherapy to be offered on a lower-cost treatment machine. India has far fewer treatment machines than its cancer population needs, so this is a very positive step forwards. Together with KIMS and GE, we can help address this need.”

"GE Healthcare is the largest supplier of molecular imaging and Cyclotron systems globally and in India. Varian Medical Systems is the world leader in systems for treating cancer with radiotherapy and radiosurgery. GE and Varian are collaborators in marketing and developing newer oncology diagnostic and treatment solutions and together we can present a holistic approach to KIMS vision for cancer detection and treatment," added Dr Rao.

ABOUT CANCER:

Cancer is the leading killer disease in the world with 7.1 million deaths (13% of total deaths) reported in 2004 and is projected to continue raising with an estimated 12 million deaths in 2030. WHO also estimates that 84 million people will die of cancer between 2005 and 2015 without intervention. About 72% of all cancer deaths in 2007 occurred in low and middle income countries. 30% of cancers are treatable if detected early.

Burden of Cancer in India

It is estimated that there are approximately 2 - 2.5 million cases of cancer in the country at any given time. Nearly 800,000 cases were diagnosed in the year 2000 and 550,000 deaths due to cancer occurred in the Indian population. The tobacco related cancers account for almost a third of cancers diagnosed in head and neck, lung and oesophagus in the Indian population. The two most common cancers of women viz. cancer of the cervix and breast further account for half the cancer burden in Indian women. The heavy cancer toll is due to the fact that 70% present in the clinically advanced stages T3-T4 with catastrophic economic impact. http://mohfw.nic.in/cancer.html.

Incidence of 1 million new cancer cases is reported in 2002. The number of cancer cases has doubled in the last 30 years and is the 6th leading cause of death in India. Estimated expenditure of treatment currently is estimated at USD 1.2 billion.

ABOUT KRISHNA INSTITUTE OF MEDICAL SCINENCES (KIMS)

Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) welcomes you to the hi-tech hub of Hyderabad. Centrally located on Minister Road, KIMS is where personalised medicare meets modern technology, and where the cream of specialists come together to fulfill a wide range of medical requirements. A full fledged, 500 bedded hospital, KIMS offers multispecialty treatment and facilities on par with the best available globally. From a 24 hour ambulance service and a round the clock pharmacy and diagnostic centre, to specialist services that extend from cardiology to urology, nephrology, dermatology, gynaecology and more, KIMS aims to ensure that every patient need is met with speed, accuracy and efficiency.

ABOUT GE HEALTHCARE:

GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems.

Our “healthymagination” vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality and efficiency around the world. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a $16 billion unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 46,000 people committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com. For our latest news, please visit http://newsroom.gehealthcare.com.

ABOUT VARIAN MEDICAL SYSTEMS

Varian Medical Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California, is the world's leading manufacturer of medical devices and software for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiotherapy, radiosurgery, proton therapy, and brachytherapy. The company supplies informatics software for managing comprehensive cancer clinics, radiotherapy centers and medical oncology practices. Varian is a premier supplier of tubes and digital detectors for X-ray imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications and also supplies X-ray imaging products for cargo screening and industrial inspection. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 5,000 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America, Europe, and China and approximately 79 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit http://www.varian.com.

Editorial contact: Neil Madle, Varian Medical Systems, +44 7786 526068, neil.madle@varian.com.