Italy’s first proton therapy centre
Agenzia Provinciale Per la Protonterapia (ATreP) has signed a contract with Ion Beam Applications S.A. (IBA), based in Luvain-La-Neuve, Belgium, for the installation of a proton therapy centre in a new hospital planned for Trento.
Over the next 15 years, IBA will provide the construction, installation and technical operation of this the first gantry-equipped proton therapy-dedicated centre in Italy.
ATreP will be responsible for the clinical operations, with the first patient expected to be treated in 2013. In the future, the proton therapy centre will be able to treat up to 1,000 patients annually, in routine operation.
The centre will include IBA’s latest technologies, e.g. Pencil Beam Scanning therapy. Due to its superior dose
distribution, proton therapy is increasingly seen as the ultimate radiotherapy for cancer. Protons deposit the
majority of their effective energy within a precisely controlled range, directly within the tumour, and more effectively spare healthy tissue. Higher doses can be delivered to a tumour without increasing the risks of side effects and
long term complications.
As yet, very few patients, globally, can yet benefit from this type of treatment. However, there are now six IBA proton therapy centres treating patients in the USA and Asia. IBA is also constructing and installing eight other therapy
centres, one being constructed at the factory and seven others currently being installed -– four in the USA and three
in Europe. All projects are on schedule.
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