Neoadjuvant therapy often comprises the usage of a therapeutic agent before the main treatment is done. This type of therapy in cancer is required to shrink the size of the malignant tumor which facilitates a more successful surgery, thereby reducing the complications in the process.. The therapy is generally given in the pre operative stage and includes chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormone therapy.
Types of Neoadjuvant therapy
The types of Neoadjuvant therapy done before the surgical removal of the tumor includes:
- Neoadjuvant chemotherapy – This therapeutic approach, facilitates a considerable reduction in the tumor size. This facilitates the oncologist to distinguish between the healthy cells and the malignant ones during operation. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy also ensures better recovery and has a long term positive effect on the health of the cancer patient by curbing the chances of recurrence. It is commonly used for lung, breast, colorectal cancer and other solid tumors.
- Neoadjuvant radiation therapy – Though often prescribed after the surgery, Neoadjuvant radiation therapy has a significant contribution towards the relapse free survival of cancer patients. Often this therapy helps to prevent stray malignant cells to form metastases in the patient’s body.
- Neoadjuvant hormonal therapy – Sometimes this method seems to act effectively like neoadjuvant chemotherapy. It helps in the better recovery of the patient, has no serious side effects and may be opted for in certain types of cancers.
Neoadjuvant therapies in treating cancer can be broadly performed via 3 ways:
- Cancer in which Neoadjuvant therapy has shown successful results, thus surfacing as a standard means of treatment
- Malignant tumors where Neoadjuvant therapy facilitates organ-sparing.
- Lastly, a tumor in which the treatment’s utility has not been felt.
In case of Neoadjuvant chemotherapy, it is given to the patients in cycles. The drug can be taken orally or intravenously during these cycles which includes a resting phase in between the consecutive cycles also. Like in patients suffering from laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma, Neoadjuvant chemotherapy acts efficiently followed by radiation therapy, helping in the preservation of the larynx without affecting the patient’s survival at all. Similarly, in breast cancer too, chemotherapy before the surgical approach ensures better treatment by reducing the size of the tumor. For radiation therapy, it can be either done externally through charged beams or internally by infusing radioactive substances in the body. In case of neoadjuvant hormonal therapy, the medications can be taken orally by a patient for a prescribed time period by the doctor.
Precautions / Points to remember
- Sometimes Neoadjuvant therapy raises the content of toxicity in the body.
- The cost incurred in the treatment process also becomes higher.
- The surgical treatment can be delayed due to the application of Neoadjuvant therapies.
- Neoadjuvant chemotherapy has shown slight beneficial changes in cervical, esophageal and gastric cancers whereas its effect on cancers of the breast, lungs are more fruitful.
- Especially in breast cancer with estrogen receptor positive patients, the neoadjuvant radiation therapy and hormonal therapy works effectively.
- Endocrine treatment done in a neoadjuvant manner allows the oncologist in certain cases to curb the cancerous cell division and makes the surgery less extensive. This method is often used for elderly patients.
Findings have proved neoadjuvant cancer therapies to be quite effective. 70% of patients receiving chemotherapy in the pre-operative stage have shown remarkable improvement while undergoing the treatment. The same can be applied for radiation and hormonal therapies. Certain types of cancer are dealt in a better way with the usage of neoadjuvant therapies. However, the stage of cancer should also be considered. Systemic neoadjuvant therapies ease the surgical process and often prove to be extremely beneficial for the patient in the long run. It also lowers the risk of recurrence of cancer in the local site.
Though the treatment cost has incremented due to better infrastructure and newer drugs, yet India still offers the treatment at a considerable cost. In private hospitals, the surgery inclusive of radiotherapy amounts to around $5000. However, the cost tends to rise if chemotherapy is recommended. Approximately, six cycles of chemotherapy can cost upto $25000. The treatment package thus largely depends on the type and stage of cancer. India, however, attracts many international patients yearly, due to its low cost budget who avail their treatment here and receive quality medical help here.
Indian hospitals efficiently cater to the needs of the cancer patients by offering neoadjuvant therapies also. Some of the main hospitals offering such treatments are:
- Fortis Hospital Vasant Kunj , Delhi
- Artemis Hospital , Gurgaon
- Regional Cancer Center, Trivandrum
- Apollo Hospitals, ( Chennai, Hyderbad, Kolkata, Delhi)
- Max Institute of Oncology, Delhi
- Harshamitra Super Speciality Cancer Centre, Tamil Nadu
- Dharamshila Hospital, Delhi
- Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute, Delhi.
Oncologists in India have made it possible for patients to defeat their battle with cancer and live a healthy, normal life. Some of the best neoadjuvant therapists in India are:
- Vijay Anand Reddy ( Apollo Health City, Hyderabad)
- Mahadev P ( Apollo Specialty Cancer Hospital,Chennai)
- Babaiah M (American Oncology Institute, Hyderabad)
- Nagraj G Huilgol ( Nanavati Hospital, Mumbai)
- Tijender Kataria ( Medanta- The Medicity, Gurgaon)
- BK Mohanti ( Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon)
- Vinod Raina (Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon)
- Ashok Vaid ( Medanta- The Medicity, Gurgaon)
- PP Bapsy ( Apollo Hospitals, Bangalore)
- Boman Dhabar ( Wockhardt Hospital, Mumabi)
- A patient from Salalah, Oman narrates:
“I often had this burning sensation in my stomach and faced an appetite loss. On getting myself examined, I got detected with pancreatic cancer. The sudden news left me in an utter confused state. We couldn’t waste much time and my wife looked up in the internet for available treatments. From the very start, we had India in mind for my treatment and luckily she came across MedTour2India who helped us immensely through my treatment process. They suggested us with a treatment in India where in an affordable budget my recovery would be possible. I soon did my own findings along with the help of the team and came down to India for my treatment. My appointment was already scheduled with the doctor by them and thus with my doctor advice I got myself admitted. My treatment included chemo radiation therapy .Initially I did face some health problems like nausea and fever. Eventually situations took a positive turn and my health showed a remarkable change. I am extremely satisfied with the treatment I received at the hospital and would like to recommend any cancer patient to get their treatment done here. Also, as assured by MedTour2India my treatment cost was within the budget and during my visit to the hospital for scanning processes, they always used to come to my aid. My oncologist was really helpful and I am grateful to MedTour2India also for their cooperation.”
- A patient from Nigeria writes about his successful cancer treatment in India:
“4 years ago I got diagnosed with metastatic bone cancer. As my condition was worsening with frequent numbness and a stinging pain in the hip region, I decided not to waste much time. I began looking for affordable treatment packages in my country, when I came across the success of India in rendering efficient cancer treatment. MedTour2India came to my aid and threw more light on the treatment options available in India. They gave me a detailed cost analysis in some of the major hospitals in India. With their help, I managed to get an appointment done in one of the leading hospitals in Delhi. They arranged for my immediate travel also and on my arrival in India, I visited the oncologist. His cooperation made me believe that I had taken the right decision for myself. Without much delay, I gave my consent to their treatment process which included chemotherapy therapy followed by a limp-sparing surgery and then radiation therapy. My treatment lasted for a span of four months and during this period, MedTour2India always assisted me with the conveyance and medications. I would definitely suggest any cancer patient visiting India to consult MedTour2India for a smooth and easier treatment. Also, I am highly thankful to my oncologist without whose help my recovery would not have been a success. A disease like cancer needs extreme dedication and the cooperation of the oncologist along with the medical staff at the hospital made my stay and experience in India a fruitful one.”