So far, more than 100,000 patients were already treated with protons worldwide. The standard indications for proton therapy today are chordomas and chondrosarcomas of the base of the skull as well as the axial skeleton, tumours of the fundus (interior surface of the eye) and, to an increasing extent, solid tumours during childhood.
For long-term usage, the WPE has a total of 4 treatment rooms with different proton modalities and the possibility to provide image guidance using X-ray, CT and MRI. Since we are in the initial phase of the parallel completion of the next rooms and systems currently taking place, we have a limited capacity and will first restrict ourselves to a few selected indications (see Diagnosis Table below). This assessment was made after considering the technical requirements and potential medical opportunities. With the technical and capacitive structure of our treatment rooms, the indication list is constantly being expanded.
At the WPE, we currently irradiate in particular non-pre-irradiated, static tumours in the head, spine and pelvic area (i.e. mainly primary brain tumours and sarcomas of the skull base, facial skull, spine and pelvis). Even prostate carcinoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma are considered.
Also for tumours in children, proton therapy has a great advantage since it reduces stress on the immature, sensitive tissue. The treatment of children is, therefore, a focus of our work. Even younger children (< 5 years) who are confronted with the possibility of anaesthesia can benefit from proton therapy.
Particularly for tumours during childhood, proton therapy has a great advantage since it reduces stress on the immature, sensitive tissue. . Even younger children (< 5 years) who are confronted with the possibility of anaesthesia can benefit from proton therapy. The treatment of children is currently the largest field at the WPE.
We do not yet treat mobile tumours such as those in the following areas: breast, lung, liver, stomach, intestine and pancreas.
For the first time in January 2015, the WPE began what is called the craniospinal proton therapy, i.e. the radiation of the entire central nervous system. This form of irradiation is crucial for some patients. Thanks to the proton beams, the internal organs such as the heart, intestine, thyroid or ovaries can thereby be spared. For the first time in Europe, this complex form of treatment can be offered routinely to children under anaesthesia.