Hope for cancer patients! Excellence Chulalongkorn Comprehensive Cancer Center Medical Personnel from Various Divisions Join Forces to Enhance Treatment Capabilities

Excellence Chulalongkorn Comprehensive Cancer Center

Chula now has an Excellence Chulalongkorn Comprehensive Cancer Center bringing together medical specialists from various areas of expertise to attend to cancer patients using the latest academic and technological know-how to enhance the quality of life and the possibilities of being cured for patients of all types of cancer.

With as many as approximately 80,000 casualties each year, cancer is the number 1 cause of death in Thailand.  It is also possible that this trend will be extended in the future since statistics show an increase of around 200,000 new patients each year.  Cancer happens to people of all age groups from children, to working people and the elderly. 

When diagnosed with cancer, many patients usually lose hope and are consumed by a sense of despair.  Their main concerns are whether or not there will be an effective treatment, the possible side effects, and how they might be able to find the funds to pay for their treatment.  The Excellence Chulalongkorn Comprehensive Cancer Center of the Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, the Thai Red Cross Society, hopes to alleviate such concerns and provide one of those answers to these patients. 

cancer specialist
Associate Professor Dr. Virote Sriuranpong, M.D.

“Because of the complicated nature of the disease, cancer is very difficult to treat and requires the collaboration of doctors from various areas of specialization. Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital has therefore established a comprehensive cancer center that brings together these specialists to work together for the benefit of our patients.”  Associate Professor Dr. Virote Sriuranpong, M.D. Director of the Excellence Chulalongkorn Comprehensive Cancer Center of the King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, the Thai Red Cross Society explained the concept behind the center’s establishment seven years ago.  The number of patients receiving treatment here has also been increasing every year. 

Comprehensive care for cancer treatment

To ensure that patients receive the most comprehensive and effective treatment, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Virote tells us that interprofessional specialists come to work together applying cutting-edge technology that meets international standards of treatment including robotic Surgery, MRI, and the first proton irradiation machine in Southeast Asia that provides precision targeting of cancer, and reduces the spread of radiation to other organs thus reducing the side effects from radiation treatment.   

Excellence Chulalongkorn Comprehensive Cancer Center
Excellence Chulalongkorn Comprehensive Cancer Center

The center also provides care for its patients in other ways such as offering advice from the beginning until the completion of cancer treatment, promoting health and wellness during the treatment, or following up on the patient’s condition after the treatment.   It also pays attention to matters related to healthcare access to allow patients the right to avail of treatment without being burdened by the cost of the treatment.  

Excellence Chulalongkorn Comprehensive Cancer Center
Excellence Chulalongkorn Comprehensive Cancer Center

Research on cancer medication boosts patients’ hope

According to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Virote there are currently 3 types of medications each of which has different effects on cancer patients:

  1. Chemotherapy helps to alleviate symptoms, decreasing cancer cells at moderate costs.  They are also moderately effective but can result in strong side effects.    
  2. Targeted Therapy is effective at treating specific targets.  The medication works specifically to halt cancer mutation and is specifically effective in patients whose mutation corresponds with the therapy.  Side effects are not as bad as what takes place in Chemotherapy.  
  3. And the third type which is attracting a lot of attention and giving much hope to cancer patients is immunotherapy which is successful in unlocking the hidden cancer cells to allow the body’s immune system to eliminate them.  The treatment does not apply to specific types of cancer and patients mostly report only mild side effects.

“At present, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital and our Excellence Center are working on research to develop immunotherapy for cancer treatment.  We are concentrating on three methods:  T-cell therapy, cancer vaccines, and antibody treatment, each with its strengths.  They can be used together or with other cancer treatments to enhance efficiency.  We are now at the stage of researching the treatment with cancer patients to be able to test it on a larger scale” explained Assoc. Prof. Dr. Virote.     

Moving toward excellence in cancer treatment

Aside from the service and care for cancer patients, the Excellence Chulalongkorn Comprehensive Cancer Center also offers a graduate program in integrated oncology to become an international training center.  

Another crucial role of the center is in the area of research for the development of innovations and sophisticated technologies in diagnosis, treatment, prognoses, and predictions of patients’ responses to treatment.  These will help improve the quality of treatment and care and enable our cancer research to gain acceptance at the international level.  

“The center also provides genetic testing for cancer which relies on cutting-edge technology.  We have set up records to determine the number of cancer patients of all types to be better prepared for the appropriate treatment that might be needed in the future,” Assoc. Prof. Dr.Virote further added. 

The Excellence Chulalongkorn Comprehensive Cancer Center has already signed an agreement with the MD Anderson Cancer Center, one of the world’s leading cancer treatment institutes based in Houston, Texas.  This will result in the exchange of knowledge and information between the two institutions through academic conferences on both medical research and health services.  The center will also work with the Ministry of Public Health to develop a “Database on Cancer Patients” at each hospital to provide more efficient services.

Finally, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Virote’s advice to cancer patients is for them to take good care of themselves, especially in terms of nutrition.  Keep a good appetite and make sure you eat the kind of food that the body needs.  See a specialist who has access to the best equipment to treat various forms of this disease since “comprehensive cancer treatment helps to enhance the chances in treating the disease.”  

For more information or questions on cancer treatment at the Excellence Chulalongkorn Comprehensive Cancer Center, call +66-2256-4530 or Line ID @ChulaCancer.

Chula’s encouragement and support for research is excellent for teachers, students, and the public.

Associate Professor Dr. Suchana Chavanich Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University

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