The Danish Centre for Particle Therapy initiated patient treatment in January 2019 and is the only proton facility in Denmark. Patients from all over Denmark are referred for treatment at the centre in close collaboration with local oncology departments. When at maximum capacity, the centre can treat up to approximately 1,200 patients annually.
Proton therapy is one of the most advanced types of radiation therapy. The treatment provides a highly precise and concentrated radiation dose to a target or tumour and spares the irradiation for the healthy tissue adjacent to the tumour. This means that patients are expected to experience less side effects compared to standard radiation therapy.
It is estimated that 10-15 % of patients currently treated with standard radiotherapy can benefit from proton therapy in the future. Proton therapy is beneficial to patients with complex, localised tumours in close proximity to vital organs, in particular children and adolescents.
The Danish Centre for Particle Therapy has three treatment rooms and one experimental room dedicated to research. The proton beam is generated with high speed in a cyclotron and transported for one treatment room at a time through a beamline to the three-story high gantries.
The gantry in each of the treatment rooms is equipped with an imaging system used to determine the exact position of the tumour. The gantry rotates 360 degrees around the patient at the treatment table and directs the proton beam with high precision adjusted to the shape of the tumour.
Proton treatment usually takes five to six weeks depending on the diagnosis. One treatment session lasts for approximately 30 minutes, and delivery of each radiation dose only takes a couple of minutes.