Posted on: 29/10/2018


SMS Hospital uses new procedure to treat bone cancer for the first time.

Bone cancer treatment at SMS hospitalJAIPUR: In what is claimed to be a first-of-its-kind treatment for bone cancer in state, state-run Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Hospital used liquid nitrogen to treat a 15-year-old patient suffering from osteogenic sarcoma of the femur. 

The emerging technique in the field of orthopaedic oncology is being attempted for the first time in the state, claimed doctors. Liquid nitrogen is widely used for various purposes such as a coolant in computers and has a boiling point of -196 degrees Celsius. Doctors use its very cold temperature to destroy cancer cells in affected bones.

When SMS Hospital received 15-year-old Praveen from Dholpur, who had cancerous tumour in his femur, the doctors found it difficult to treat him by conducting a conventional surgery as the patient was young. 

Since conventional procedures such as excision and endoprosthesis, replacing a body part with an artificial one, would not have been successful, the team led by Dr D S Meena, head of the department orthopaedics, and assistant professor (orthopaedic) Dr Rajkumar Harshwal decided to use liquid nitrogen.

Bone was fixed in the body with three locking plates: Docs

“Due to his growing age, the patient would have required frequent changing of endoprosthesis in 5 to 10 years. Radiotherapy makes the bone brittle and takes more than 18 months to rejoin the bones. Therefore, we chose liquid nitrogen,” Dr Harshwal said. Liquid nitrogen kills the tumour cell but does not harm the healing properties of a patient’s bone.

“Qualitatively it’s better and rapidly unites bones. The reoccurrence rate of bone cancer is also less. We removed the tumour with the bone in total and all visible tumour by saw and reaming. We immersed the bone in liquid nitrogen and kept it for 20 minutes,” he said. The chemical crystalizes all water content in the cell and kills all tissue. But it doesn't harm the protein part and bone scaffolding. So, the bone quality remains good. However, the use of liquid nitrogen is full of risk. “It’s kept at -190 degrees Celsius. If it falls on your body, gangrene or frost bite may occur. If it falls in your eye, it may cause blindness. So, all necessary precautions were taken and a rehearsal done two days prior to the operation,” the doctors said.

After the cancerous bone was removed and kept in the chemical for 20 minutes, it was kept in normal condition for 15 minutes and then at 30 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes.

The bone was then fixed in the body with three locking plates. The doctors claimed that the method was being attempted for the first time in the state.



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