Denmark gets a particle accelerator for modern and gentle treatment of patients with cancer. The first patient can be treated with particle therapy at Aarhus University Hospital in 2017.
In May 2011, the Danish Parliament agreed to establish a Danish National Particle Centre to improve the possibilities for gentle treatment of children with cancer and specific types of cancers.
Today the Danish Minister of Health has decided that Aarhus is to host a future national centre for particle therapy. This is in accordance with recommendations from an independent international expert group. Both the Central Denmark Region and the Capital Region applied to host the centre.
- Aarhus University Hospital offers internationally recognised cancer therapy and together with Aarhus University we have a strong and international research environment. Moreover, we have the best conditons for running a national centre for particle therapy, says Chairman of the Central Denmark Region Bent Hansen.
High-precision radiation therapy
Radiation therapy plays an important role in modern cancer treatment. Approximately half of all cancer patients receive radiation therapy.
Particle therapy is high-precision radiation therapy where the tumour is hit by a larger dose of radiation at the same time exposing the healthy tissue to a smaller radiation dose. This will in particular benefit children with cancer.
This type of radiation therapy is expected to have a major impact on cancer treatment during the next decade. Danish and international expert reports conclude it would be relevant to replace 15% of the current radiation therapy with particle therapy.
- The National Centre for Particle Therapy will be able to give at least 1,000 cancer patients a longer and better life. In this way we take a major step forward in cancer treatment in Denmark. At the same time we get new research opportunities leading to even more advanced cancer treatment in Denmark in the future, says Bent Hansen.
Construction starts now
Approaching 2019, Aarhus University Hospital will be under one roof in Skejby and the National Centre for Particle Therapy will be built next to the Department of Oncology. The site is ready for construction to start. The National Centre for Particle Therapy will be equipped with a proton accelerator and two treatment rooms with integrated facilities for patients, relatives, staff and researchers.
A third treatment room is planned to allow an expansion of patient capacity to 1,500 patients annually. If further expansions are necessary a building site around the facility has been reserved.
To ensure collaboration concerning the National Centre for Particle Therapy a board has been appointed with representatives from the most important interest groups (the Ministry of Health, Danish Regions, Danish Multidisciplinary Cancer Groups etc.).
The centre is estimated to cost approximately MDKK 770 (buildings MDKK 295, equipment MDKK 475). The Central Denmark Region has made the site available without costs and Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital have allocated MDKK 50 to the project. Construction starts now and the centre will be ready to welcome the first patient in 2017.
The long-term vision for the National Centre for Particle Therapy is to be among the world leading centres within research and treatment of cancer with particle-based radiation therapy.