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Govt to support Magnetron tech used in cancer radiation therapy

Government is supporting indigenous development of high-powered Magnetron technology used mainly for cancer radiation therapy, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Science and Technology Jitendra Singh said on Wednesday.

He was speaking at the signing in of a memorandum of understanding between Technology Development Board (TDB) of department of science and technology (DST) and Bangalore based Panacea Medical Technologies Pvt. Ltd to provide financial support for development and commercialisation of “S Band Tunable Magnetron for Particle Accelerators”. TDB has agreed to provide loan assistance of Rs 4.87 crore, out of the total project cost of ₹9.73 crores to the company, the government said in a statement.

Magnetron is a type of vacuum tube device. It is compact and low-cost source of microwave power as compared to other similar microwave tubes. It works on a principle of crossed-field device, which uses the motion of electrons in perpendicular electric and magnetic fields to generate microwave radiation, used for generating Radio frequency (RF) Power Source in Linear Accelerator for Medical, non-destructive technology (NDT) and other allied applications. NDT is a testing and analysis technique used by industry to evaluate the properties of a material, component, structure or system.

Magnetron technology has been developed indigenously by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-CEERI) Pilani, and transferred to Panacea for mass production and usage in radiation therapy machine for cancer treatment.

“High-powered Magnetron developed by CSIR-CEERI Pilani for commercial use will be a pathbreaking technology for Oncologists to treat even 2 mm diameter brain tumour with precision radiation with very little side-effects,” Singh said adding that this will not only increase efficacy, but also prove cost effective in treatment of micro and major tumours.

The Minister further added the machine can be exported to many countries in the world as the company has already received US FDA clearance. “Currently, our economy is dependent on use of imported magnetron in various applications related to non-destructive testing (NDT), radar and other industrial applications in addition to medical applications. This technology can be further extended for other applications ensuring seamless supply of RF source to medical linear accelerator (LINAC) Manufacturers across the globe,’ said the minister. LINAC is the device most commonly used for external beam radiation treatments for patients with cancer.

Currently, India is the fourth largest medical devices market in Asia, after Japan, China and South Korea and positioned 20th in the global market. India imports about 86% of its requirement of medical equipment and almost 100% of high-end medical equipment, the Minister added.

As per the study of global markets, Singh added, magnetron holds a huge demand globally, as it is essential for all types of linear accelerators, industrial heating equipment, radar systems, medical applications, NDT and others industries.

“India would be the third country to achieve this feat. England and Japan hold around 80% – 90 % of the global market. For making Indian Healthcare Ecosystem a robust sector, TDB is providing an impetus to India’s vision of becoming a global manufacturing hub for medical devices,” he said.

“We expect many Medtech companies to come forward with more such innovative technologies and manufacture in India at affordable cost to meet our own requirements as well as making it available to the world. Thus, transforming India as the major manufacturing hub of high-end medical devices for the world,” Rajesh Kumar Pathak, Secretary, TDB said. Business Today

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