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Taiwan Cutting-Edge Proton Therapy

Source: Taiwantrade | Updated: 22 December 2015

Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital jointly held the “Launch of Proton Therapy Services Press Conference” at Island Shangri-La Hong Kong on 10th December, 2015. The conference gave Hong Kongers a better understanding of proton therapy, and brought new opportunities for cancer patients.   


The Vice-Superintendent Cheng, Ming-Hui of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and the Director of Service Industry Promotion Center, TAITRA, Ms. Chang, Cheng-Fen delivered speeches individually during the conference session. Vice-Superintendent Cheng and the assistant leader of the Proton and Radiation Therapy Center, Dr. Ngan-Ming, Tsang briefed on the most cutting-edge proton therapy center of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial hospital and shared the patient experiences. It attracted 10 Hong Kong media outlets, including Hong Kong Ming Pao News, Hong Kong Apple Daily, Ming Pao Magazine, and Sky Post, etc, along with more than 60 medical related professionals of Hong Kong and Macau attending the event. The atmosphere was lively and congenial, which added positive effects to the international image of Taiwan’s medical care.


Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (CGMH) officially opened up for patients abroad to receive proton and radiation therapy in November, 2015, which made Taiwan Asia’s fourth country equipped with proton therapy equipment after Japan, Korea and Mainland China. At the same time, the proton therapy center of CGMH is the biggest in the greater China region.


Vice-superintendent Cheng explained that proton radiation therapy is one of the most advanced cancer radiation therapies, and has years of development experience. It also offers a new treatment option for cancer patients who can not receive surgery. While radioactive rays of traditional radiation therapies might cause damage to adjacent normal tissue and organs, proton radiation therapy strips the protons and electrons of hydrogen atom nuclei, and accelerates protons, causing intensified on damaging cancer cells, while avoiding irradiating uninvolved healthy tissue. Since the end of last year (2014), Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital has successfully completed proton therapy clinical trials for 6 cancer patients, with brain cancer, prostate cancer, tongue cancer, oral cancer and liver cancer respectively. The treatment results are well with stable symptom conditions. It also passed the inspection and check-up from relative authorizations before performing proton radiation therapy on cancer patients. More than 400 patients have sought consultations so far.    
  

 

Through June 2015, there have been over 100,000 real proton therapy treatment cases and 49 medical proton therapy centers established around the world. The proton treatment equipment and results for clinical trials are also on the rise. Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital started to build the proton and radiation therapy center in January 2011, and the gross investment is over 10 billion NTD.  The Proton and Radiation Therapy Center of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital boasts 4 proton therapy and 10 X-ray treatment rooms, and is capable of providing X-ray treatment to over 3,000 patients, and proton beam treatment to 1,300 patients annually, according to CGMH.   


The director of Service Industry Promotion Center, TAITRA, Ms. Chang, Cheng-Fen mentioned that Taiwan medical care has world class advanced equipment with high levels of technology and precision, professional medical teams and outstanding quality. The medical technology is on par with advanced world standards. Thus, more and more people from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, South East Asia, even regions such as America and Canada, come all the way to Taiwan for medical treatment. According to the static data from Ministry of Health and Welfare, over 0.25 million foreigners visited Taiwan in 2014 to utilize the medical services. 49% of them were from Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau regions. From January to September, 2015, 216,734 foreigners came to Taiwan. Compared to the 188,514 visitors during the same time frame of 2014, the figure had grown 15%. We expect the growth rate will be even higher in the future.     

 


 Leo Chyi(leochyi@taitra.org.tw)

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