Proton therapy is an application of nuclear medicine, a type of external radio therapy that uses a proton beam to irradiate the tissue that has been affected by a tumor.
Spain's first proton therapy center
The hospital group Quirónsalud has launched a project for the creation of the first proton therapy facility in Spain. It will foreseeably start treating its first patients by the beginning of 2019. This center, located in Madrid, will be at the disposal of patients from both public and private healthcare. It will offer treatments for patients with cancer and will also serve as a space for innovation and research, with projects that will seek to improve the results of the oncological treatments and the quality of life of their patients.
According to a statement from Quirónsalud, currently proton radiotherapy is the treatment of choice for many types of cancer, since its efficacy is equal to or superior to conventional radiotherapy, and it causes less side effects. It boasts numerous benefits, they assure: there is minimum to none radiation around the tumor, there is a lower dose of radiation per treatment, it does not cause secondary tumors and the patient's quality of life is much better. As of today, over 130,000 patients have been treated with proton therapy at the 58 existing facilities throughout the world. It is expected that in 2020 there will be 125, over twice as many.
A great help for patients
Thanks to the creation of the first proton therapy facility in Spain, many patients and their families will not have to travel in order to receive treatment outside the country, thus avoiding elevated costs, bureaucratic processes, emotional impact and disruption to their family life. Furthermore, according to the information presented on the Strategic Radiotherapy Oncology Plan, over 400 patients would clearly benefit from a proton treatment, which in their respective cases is more appropiate than conventional radiotherapy.
According to the results presented by international scientific students, proton therapy is the most appropiate for chordoma and chondrosarcoma, intraocular melanomas and tumors in children and teenagers. Proton therapy is considered the most adequate treatment for underage patients. All things considered, the statement says, proton therapy is recommended for over 15% of radiotherapy patients.