First patients treated with proton therapy in Belgium with IBA's ProteusONE
September 16, 2020
Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, 16 September 2020 - IBA (Ion Beam Applications SA), the world's leading provider of proton therapy solutions for the treatment of cancer, is pleased to announce that the Particle Therapy Interuniversity Centre Leuven (ParTICLe) in Belgium has started treating patients with proton therapy using IBA's Proteus®ONE technology. These are the first patients to receive proton beam therapy in Belgium.
The IBA compact proton therapy system installed in Leuven uses the latest generation Pencil Beam Scanning (PBS), isocenter volumetric imaging (Cone Beam CT) capabilities as well as the Philips Ambient Experience. In addition, this is the first Proteus®ONE center in the world to use the RayCare® as its oncology information system (OIS) and the first to combine Proteus®ONE technology with computed tomography (CT) on-rails imagery in the treatment room. A second cyclotron has also been installed for research purposes.
ParTICLe is an inter-university collaboration between UZ Leuven, KU Leuven, Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc and UCLouvain, supported by UZ Gent, CHU UCL Namur, UZ Brussel and UZA. The center is focused on clinical care alongside education, training, and research & development. The installation of IBA's technology at the center means that Belgian patients will no longer need to travel abroad to access proton therapy treatment.
IBA has been leading the proton therapy market for the last 30 years and has built the largest user community of proton therapy centers. With this additional center, 86 IBA-equipped proton therapy rooms are now in operation globally. In addition, IBA is leading innovation in proton therapy, with continued progress being made on future technologies such as ARC therapy and FLASH irradiation on its Proteus platform.
Proton therapy is the optimal choice for cancer patients where treatment options are limited or conventional radiotherapy presents an unacceptable risk to the patient. It is ideal for tumors close to vital organs and is particularly appropriate for children, whose tissue is vulnerable to damage from traditional radiation therapy. To date, around 200,000 patients(1) worldwide have already benefited from proton therapy – a figure which is expected to double in the next five years.
Olivier Legrain, Chief Executive Officer at IBA, commented: "We are delighted that patients in Belgium can now benefit from this advanced cancer treatment technology and we would like to congratulate the team at ParTICLe for this milestone. We are looking forward to continuing to expand our collaboration with the leading universities involved in this project. The close proximity of the ParTICLe Proton Therapy Center to our Headquarters should serve to further strengthen the collaboration and help advance the use of proton therapy for cancer patients in Belgium."
Prof. Dr. Wim Robberecht, Chief Executive Officer of UZ Leuven commented: "We are very pleased to bring this cutting-edge technology to patients in Belgium. The integration of the compact Proteus®ONE system into our existing radiotherapy department will enable us to better serve patients. Up to now, Belgian patients eligible for proton therapy had to go abroad to be treated, but now they can receive this treatment in their home country. We are excited about the potential of this technology, which destroys cancer cells while limiting the exposure of healthy tissues surrounding the tumor and reducing the risk of secondary cancers. We look forward to collaborating further with our Belgian network of hospitals and IBA so that all patients who could benefit from proton therapy can access it."
About Proton Therapy
Proton therapy is considered to be the most advanced form of radiotherapy in the fight against cancer. The unique dose deposition that proton therapy offers enables the tumor to be targeted more effectively than other treatments. Compared to photon radiotherapy, protons deposit almost all their energy within a controlled zone and, in the vast majority of cases, limit the amount of the dose deposited in the healthy tissue surrounding the tumor. The use of protons consequently offers the potential to reduce the secondary effects of the treatment.
Proteus®ONE is IBA's compact intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT) solution which, due to its open gantry, enables high patient throughput. It benefits from the latest technologies that have been developed with renowned clinical institutions and allows the treatment of patients with a large number of cancer indications.
IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A.) is a global medical technology company focused on bringing integrated and innovative solutions for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The company is the worldwide technology leader in the field of proton therapy, considered to be the most advanced form of radiation therapy available today. IBA's proton therapy solutions are flexible and adaptable, allowing customers to choose from universal full-scale proton therapy centers as well as compact, single room solutions. In addition, IBA also has a radiation dosimetry business and develops particle accelerators for the medical world and industry. Headquartered in Belgium and employing about 1,500 people worldwide, IBA has installed systems across the world.
* Proteus®ONE is the brand name of Proteus®235.
** ARC therapy is work in progress and FLASH therapy is currently under research. They are not available for sale.
About ParTICLe Proton Therapy Center
ParTICLe is a consortium of UZ Leuven / KU Leuven and Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc / UCL, together with UZ Gent, UZA, UZ Brussel and CHU UCL Namur, which will develop one joint interuniversity treatment and research center for proton therapy in Belgium, within a context of thorough medical and strategic cooperation with all interested centers and partners. Patients are now able to receive proton therapy treatment in the ParTICLe proton therapy center in Leuven. It is estimated that in Belgium, according to current standard indications, 150 to 200 patients are eligible for proton therapy every year. These will mainly be children with cancer and adults with certain rare cancers for which existing solutions are not optimal, such as tumors at the base of the skull, close to the spine or near the optic nerve. This number may increase in the future if new indications for proton therapy are determined on the basis of clinical scientific studies.