Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - First ‘nuclear medicine’ to treat cancer in Cambodia

First ‘nuclear medicine’ to treat cancer in Cambodia

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The exterior of the new National Cancer Centre, a state-of-the-artfacility at Calmette Hospital. Heng Chivoan

First ‘nuclear medicine’ to treat cancer in Cambodia

Cambodia's National Cancer Centre at Calmette Hospital conducted its first nuclear medicine treatment workshop on Monday to create awareness about the treatment. Experts, meantime, recommend that Cambodia have a cancer registry to provide better patient care.

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital doctor Sobhan Vinjamuri said Cambodia must establish a national cancer registry.

“One of the most important things to have is a good feel of how many patients there are, and those who require and could benefit from the treatment."

“So, I was speaking to the Calmette team, to have a cancer registry for the country. At the moment, they are working on it,” said Vinjamuri.

He said it is important to have accurate numbers to improve cancer care. The World Health Organisation (WHO), he said, estimates 600 [people affected by thyroid cancer] per year should benefit [from nuclear medicine].

“For me, it is a big gap between the estimated number of [people affected by thyroid cancer] in the country and the number of patients coming to this hospital for treatment. So, I think [the] first important thing is to get a feeling for the number of patients who can benefit.”

Vinjamuri said nuclear medicine is not a new area and is safe for human disease management.

Calmette Hospital deputy director-general Kong Sonya said this is the first nuclear medicine treatment offered in a hospital in Cambodia. Sonya said people travelled abroad to seek treatment for thyroids despite it being available nationally.

“The demand is very [high]. So far, people are going for treatment outside the country. We hope we could make a contribution with the government to reduce costs spent abroad on health treatments.”

Sonya said Calmette Hospital trained two of their nuclear medicine staff abroad.

Director of Cambodia’s National Cancer Centre Eav Sokha said the centre has offered cutting-edge treatment, such as nuclear medicine, hematopoietic stem cell transplantations, chemotherapy and paediatric oncology since January this year.

“Even doctors don’t know what it is or how to use it. So, we want to raise awareness and increase treatments."

“Maybe [people] don’t know. And, maybe doctors don’t know either that [nuclear medicine] is available at our hospital,” said Sokha.

Only 30 patients were admitted to the national cancer centre while an estimated 600 people nationally are affected by thyroid cancer from May to October.

MOST VIEWED

  • First Cambodian woman graduates from Japan’s NDA military academy

    A few years ago, Meach Sithyka Jessica became the first-ever Cambodian woman to graduate from the US Military Academy at West Point, and since then her courage and determination has served as an inspiration for other Cambodian women. Similarly, Ly Chansocheata became the first Cambodian

  • Construction begins on $1.5B Kampot seaport

    The International Multi-Purpose Logistics and Port Centre, principally invested by Kampot Logistics and Port Co Ltd and projected to cost $1.5 billion, has officially broken ground in Bokor town, Kampot province. The multi-purpose logistics and port centre, located in Prek Tnaot commune, will be built on

  • Cambodia eyes key role in electronics, auto hubs in SEA

    Two roadmaps, part of the LDC’s economic diversification plan, were designed to see it through its migration process, but experts say the journey might be arduous, particularly in the presence of two established hubs in the region By 2028, Cambodia hopes to have exited the

  • Hun Neng, lawmaker and PM’s brother, passes away aged 72

    Hun Neng, chairman of the 4th Commission of the National Assembly, has passed away from heart disease at the age of 72 on the afternoon of May 5, according to the Ministry of Information. Hun Neng is the older brother of Prime Minister Hun Sen, and was

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM meets with US business giants

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has met with a number of major US companies who have expressed interest in investing in Cambodia, in a meeting convened by the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC). A delegation of companies – including Amazon, Meta, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Ford, Visa and Pernod