RIYADH — Driven by a great desire to help cancer patients and reduce their suffering, Prof. Andras Szasz, founder and head of research at Oncotherm company, has developed a painless therapy to complement cancer treatment.
Known as oncothermia, it is a modulated-electro-hyperthermia for oncological use. It is a fast developing supportive, complementary treatment method against different types of tumors. The Saudi Food and Drugs Authority recently approved the procedure.
The principles of treatment are based on the classical method of hyperthermia, but the aim, beside the absolute increase in temperature, is especially the direct electric-field energy absorption in the extracellular liquid and destroying the membrane of the cancer cells.
Oncothermia’s effect is synergic to radiotherapy and to numerous chemotherapies. Furthermore, it leads to an increased immunogenicity and effectively reduces the pain of the patient.
Saudi Gazette met with Prof. Szasz, who was on a visit to Riyadh and Jeddah recently and had multiple meetings with stakeholders about his invention and how it helps cancer patients across five continents.
“I started working on my invention since 1988. The journey was very long and it was not easy. There were many trials and errors and countless procedures to make it recognizable,” he said.
“In 2002, we started spreading my invention through my company, which is only responsible for serious medical tasks. Currently, we have spread it in 35 countries and now 200,000 oncothermia procedures are performed annually,” he added.
The invention had produced encouraging results in enhancing the survival time of cancer patients. “The cases treated by oncothermia had shown a 20 percent improvement in the quality of lives for patients. However, we cannot separate the invention from other crucial factors, such as medications and a determination for survival,” he emphasized.
The researcher said oncothermia is absolutely safe and has no side effects. “It can be used for all age groups, female and male, and all types of cancer except leukemia.
I have strong hope that Saudi hospitals will apply this method in treatment,” Szasz said.
Dr. Hamad Al-Omar, chairman of the National Blood and Cancer Center, said there were more than 20,000 new cancer cases in the Kingdom in 2017, in addition to existing patients. “The Ministry of Health is working hard to enhance services given to cancer patients. We held several talks with Prof. Szasz and we hope to adopt this new method in our public and private hospitals,” he said.
Dr. Al-Omar said the main causes of cancer in the Kingdom are smoking, lack of exercise and unhealthy diet. “However, with the new treatment methods, we can think of cancer as a chronic disease, not a fatal disease,” he stressed.
He said cancer can be fully cured while diabetes for example is incurable. “Unfortunately, people think of cancer as a fatal disease that is incurable when the truth is most cancer cases can be cured,” Al-Omar said.
He emphasized that prevention is much better than cure. “By adopting a healthy lifestyle, we can reduce the possibility of us getting diseases. If we look back 10 years, diabetes affected only 5 percent of people while today it is 30 percent, all because of the unhealthy lifestyles,” he concluded.