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July 21, 2009

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Cancer hospital offers new help

CONSTRUCTION has begun of China's first hospital focusing on heavy ion therapy for cancer sufferers in Lanzhou, capital of northwestern China's Gansu Province.

The Lanzhou Heavy Ion Cancer Treatment Center will be able to treat 2,000 cancer patients each year, and would accept patients from around the world, said Yue Haikui, chief of office at the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institution of Modern Physics.

Heavy ion was one of the most advanced and effective cancer treatments in the world, and was more accurate, caused less damage to healthy tissues and had a higher cure rate than conventional radiotherapies, said Zhan Wenlong, deputy head of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Clinical trials on 109 volunteer patients by the academy showed two to three months of heavy ion treatment could, in most cases, eliminate detectable tumors.

More than 90 percent of the patients had no relapse in the following 18 months.

Construction of the hospital, on 13 hectares, began yesterday and is expected to be complete within three years. A research and development facility will take another 26 hectares.

The hospital will be owned and managed as a joint venture by the Sheng De Group, the city government and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Cancer is the leading cause of death in China, with 2 million new cases a year.


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