Cancer is one of the leading causes of deaths in India. Nearly 0.8 million new cases of cancer occur every year. But, little is known about the outcome of cancer treatment. Protocols and guidelines of treatment for cancer are still used from the West in India. But, according to several Indian studies, Indians react differently to drug regiments i.e. they tend to develop more side-effects and have lower tolerance for toxicity. It is therefore, important to collect and analyse data on different cancer treatment and outcomes, which can help in developing an Indian standard of treatment.
A new software, said Dr. Nimmagadda, can easily be installed on a desktop or to a hospital’s LAN to help doctors key in details to the patients. Drugs that are used for treating cancer are part of the software and the doctors have the flexibility to choose the regiment that they use.
All forms of cancer treatment get easily covered in the software, such as radiotherapy and surgery. The doctors can then record responses that have been seen, survival periods, toxicity/side-effects and relapses. Each doctor can analyse the data for patterns and also contribute to a pool of data generated, both within the hospital as well as across the country. The pool can then be studied by data analysers for greater trends. Identity of both the doctors as well as patients becomes anonymous when the data is pooled and the software is equipped for all cancer types as well as lymphomas except blood cancers.
The Ramesh Nimmagadda Cancer Foundation has been set up for effective use of the software. This software will be first provided free of cost and will provide assistance in using it. The National Cancer Grid, which was formed in August 2012 aimed primarily at developing a uniform standard of care. It has asked Dr. Nimmagadda to set up his software at 52 of its institutions.
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