Maha govt, Tata Trusts join hands to launch Virtual Tumour Board

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government, National Cancer Grid, Tata Memorial Centre, Department of Atomic Energy and Tata Trusts held the first meeting of the state's Virtual Tumour Board (VTB), connecting the state's government medical colleges to provide access to expert opinion to cancer patients from the state's remotest corners from a multi-disciplinary panel of cancer experts from across the country.

The VTB launch witnessed participation from 13 government medical colleges, Tata Memorial Hospital and other hospital members of the National Cancer Grid. The inaugural session took place in the presence Minister for Medical Education Girish Mahajan.
"We are now able to start cancer care centres on the basis of the work done by the Tata hospitals both in this state and across the country for which we are grateful. Through these colleges and VTB, people in the remote areas of our state can now get an accurate diagnosis, proper and affordable treatment," said Mahajan.

R Venkataramanan, managing trustee, Tata Trusts, said: "There is an acute shortage of skilled manpower, especially oncologists, in the country to provide adequate care to the 14.5 lakh new cancer cases every year. Today, we move beyond our conventional ways of working. Remote care models like this will go a long way to promote use of technology to decentralise cancer treatment and enable access to high quality cancer care in the state's remotest corners."

The VTB allows 40 or 50 of these cancer hospitals and centres to come together to discuss these cases and arrive at a conclusion on the most effective and affordable treatment for the patient. This is the first time in history that this kind of a grid has come about and the role of Tata Trusts is to see that through proper bandwidth and connectivity, skills and care are improved, so that there is affordable and accessible care and at the same time the care is of good quality.

The VTB comprises experts from the fields of medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology, anaesthesiology, pathology, imaging technology as well as others. The VTB establishes a platform where complicated cases of cancer patients are discussed through a multipoint video conference to get opinions on diagnosis and treatment.
DH News Service

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