SunMed Launches Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT) for Early-Stage Breast Cancer Patients

Strengthens position as leader in Cancer Diagnosis and Management in Malaysia

Mr Lau Beng Long, Managing Director of Sunway Group Healthcare Services (left) and Dr Ng Char Hong, Consultant Breast & Breast Reconstructive Surgeon, Sunway Medical Centre (right) officiating the launch last 7 March 2017

Bandar Sunway, 7 March 2017 – Sunway Medical Centre (SunMed) today launched the Intraoperative Radiation Therapy System (IORT), an innovative new tool in the fight against cancer. This milestone marks the key priority in 2017 for SunMed as they carve a name as a leader in Cancer treatment and care.

SunMed is renowned for their commitment towards providing professional, innovative quality services that exceeds customer expectation, while striving to be one of the leading medical centres in the ASEAN region. In line with this, SunMed has embarked on a journey to fight cancer this year with various initiatives, strategic partnerships and key investments.

The launch of the IORT treatment is one such initiative that fits in to this overarching theme. The drive is to provide the quality of patient-centered coordinated care for those undergoing cancer treatment and therapy in Malaysia. This breakthrough method allows patients to undergo a onetime radiation treatment, which is delivered in a single, targeted dose during surgery itself, and unlike standard radiation treatment, it does as little damage as possible to normal tissue around where the tumor used to be.

“Despite recent advances, there remains an urgent need for innovative and effective treatment options for cancer patients in Malaysia. With IORT, we at Sunway Medical Centre, hope to provide our patients cutting-edge treatment options coupled with expert services”, explains Mr. Lau Beng Long, Managing Director, Sunway Group Healthcare Services.

He adds, “At SunMed, we want patients to have the best in health options that is stress-free. Having access to an innovative radiation therapy option that is highly effective and more convenient while minimizing radiation exposure. IORT is meant to put less stress on our patients’ skin and organs while giving them peace of mind that they can complete treatment as quickly as possible, and return to their family and daily life.”

Unlike traditional cancer treatment, for breast cancer involves three to six weeks of daily, whole-breast radiation treatments following a lumpectomy, or breast-conserving surgery. In contrast, under IORT treatment, a patient only undergoes a single dose of radiotherapy, lasting 30 to 40 minutes during the surgery, thus eliminating the need for additional visits. Since the radiation is delivered precisely to the tumor site in the breast, the surrounding healthy tissue and organs, receive much less radiation exposure than a conventional whole-breast radiation treatment.

Cancer is on the rise in Malaysia, hitting close to 100,000 cases per year. According to Mr. Lau, “Statistics show that 25% of Malaysians people at likely to develop cancer by the age of 75 and this figure is alarming. We want to do our part in educating and preventing cancer, while at the same time ensuring that we are equipped with the right expertise and latest technologies to combat cancer. We are confident that one day we will win the battle against the dreaded C but for now, we will do our part to help our patients as much as we can.”

Sunway Medical Centre is committed to advancing all aspects of cancer care – prevention, treatment and supportive care. With a strong team of highly-experienced surgical, medical, and radiation oncologists, research capabilities and enabling technologies, SunMed is looking to lead cancer treatments and therapies in Malaysia.

At the launch, Dr. Ng Char Hong, Consultant Breast and Breast Reconstructive Surgeon at Sunway Medical Centre showcased a pre-recorded surgery to illustrate how the IORT treatment works. The entire procedure took approximately 45 minutes to complete. The procedure time can be anywhere between 15 – 45 minutes.

To-date, since 16 December 2016, SunMed has successfully treated 7 patients with the IORT treatment.