Since February 15, 2012, the German Children’s Cancer Foundation supports the National Advisory Centre for Particle Therapy for Children at the West German Proton Therapy Centre in Essen (WPE). The Advisory Centre is headed by Prof. Dr. med. Beate Timmermann, director of the Department of Particle Therapy at the University Hospital Essen. Prof. Timmermann has been handling proton therapy for children in Europe since 2002.
There is still no broad expertise in the field of proton therapy for children in Germany. The treatment of children with cancer is based on Germany-wide therapy optimisation studies involving the competence network from all participating disciplines. What has been shown over the past two to three years is that a consultation and/or expert opinion on proton therapy in the treatment concepts, in particular for solid tumours, is required. Therefore, close contact with the various study groups has been established. The reference centre for particle therapy provides a single expert opinion and consultation on proton therapy for cancer during childhood.
Consultation is available for patients, parents and colleagues. The aim is to pave the way for proton therapy in the appropriate cases. For children in which proton therapy is unsuitable or unavailable, intensive counseling in regard to alternative methods is also offered to parents and colleagues.