The Prague Proton Therapy Center has Created a New Professional Center

4. 5. 2020 12:17

The prestigious European center for cancer treatment, the Proton Therapy Center (PTC) in Prague, is significantly shifting trends in the treatment of malignant lymphomas.

The Proton Therapy Center (PTC) is involved in the development of new treatments and recommendations that are applied by experts from around the world. It is a success that Czech patients benefit from, because they can use the most modern radiotherapeutic treatment of lymphomas, and there is a growing interest in our results from abroad. Thanks to the concentrated experience with proton therapy for lymphomas, the latest PTC initiative is the creation of the Center of Excellence for Radiotherapy of Malignant Lymphomas. It aims to further promote specialised scientific cooperation in the Czech Republic and abroad, rationalise proton radiotherapy indications for patients with lymphomas, inform experts, physicians, and last but not least, patients and the general public about therapeutic options and results.

PTC doctors and physicists cooperate on local and foreign recommendations for lymphoma treatment, they lecture on local and international congresses and take part in clinical studies related to lymphoma radiotherapy, such as analysis of dosimetric and radiobiological models comparing modern technologies of photon radiotherapy with proton radiotherapy. The Center of Excellence is led by MUDr. Kateřina Dědečková, leading expert for this type of treatment in the Czech Republic. "Through the Center of Excellence, we would like to support interdisciplinary communication, data sharing and evaluation, and participation in joint studies. The aim of the cooperation is also a rational indication of patients for proton radiotherapy. This approach should facilitate its early availability for suitable patients, because in most cases it is necessary to act quickly," explained MUDr. Kateřina Dědečková.

Malignant lymphomas are a condition which very often affect people at a young age. A high percentage of patients is cured after cancer treatment; therefore, it is desirable to prevent any treatment-related side effects to the maximum extent. The treatment of malignant lymphomas is most often a combination of systemic treatment and radiation. Proton therapy is one of the most gentle irradiation techniques and can significantly reduce the risk of irradiation of healthy tissues and organs, such as the spinal cord, heart and lungs. Proton RT thus makes it possible to significantly eliminate the development of heart and lung diseases (heart attack, heart rhythm disorders, lung fibrosis), and also reduces the risk of secondary tumors.

"I am pleased that our investments in innovation, science and research are not only internationally recognized, but they also are the greatest benefit for the patients themselves," said PTC CEO Václav Laštovka, adding: "It is very important for patients to know that this treatment is paid by cooperating domestic and foreign health insurance companies."

PTC has been involved in proton radiotherapy for lymphomas since 2013. In 2015, the PTC started to use a treatment combination with the deep inspiration breath hold (DIBH) method for patients with mediastinal disease.

According to the internationally accepted indication, access to proton therapy should be provided especially to the following patients:

  • young women with axillar disease, where proton radiotherapy can spare the breast gland and thus reduces the risk of developing a secondary breast carcinoma;
  • highly pre-treated patients (after several types of chemotherapy or bone marrow transplant), who are at a higher risk of developing radiation toxicity (especially lung, cardiovascular toxicity and bone marrow disease);
  • patients with localized disease which has not responded to chemotherapy;
  • patients after previous radiotherapy within the same or surrounding area;
  • mediastinal disease, where the irradiated area (the original disease) is located in the area below the left coronary artery.

The Center of Excellence offers Czech and Slovak hematologists, hematooncologists and other professionals an online counseling center where they can consult on the suitability of the indication for their patients. Specialized lectures and case studies will also be organized, as well as professional publications devoted to the evaluation of treatment results.