Steering Committee members took an unanimous decision to support the Hadron Cancer Therapy and Biomedical Research with Protons and Heavy Ions as the option for the Institute
At the second SEEIIST Steering Committee meeting, held on 30 March 2018 in Tirana (Republic of Albania), SC members took an unanimous decision to support the Hadron Cancer Therapy and Biomedical Research with Protons and Heavy Ions as the option for the Institute.
Apart from the fact that main purpose of the Facility for Hadron Tumour Therapy and Biomedical Research is to deliver the most advanced and precise treatment of the wide range of tumours by exploiting the characteristic shape of energy deposition in the tissues for hadrons, it will also aim at improving the medical level of a whole area of medicine and health care in the Region.
Around 500 patients per year will be treated, but also around 1000 scientists, medical doctors, engineers and technical people will work at the Institute. The fact that 50% of the beam time will be dedicated to the Biomedical research makes this Institute unique in the World.
What is Hadron Therapy?
Radiation therapy is the medical use of ionizing radiation to treat cancer. In conventional radiation therapy, beams of X rays (high energy photons) are produced by accelerated electrons and then delivered to the patient to destroy tumour cells. Using crossing beams from many angles, radiation oncologists irradiate the tumour target while trying to spare the surrounding normal tissues. Inevitably some radiation dose is always deposited in the healthy tissues.
When the irradiating beams are made of charged particles (protons and other ions, such as carbon), radiation therapy is called hadrontherapy. The strength of hadrontherapy lies in the unique physical and radiobiological properties of these particles; they can penetrate the tissues with little diffusion and deposit the maximum energy just before stopping. This allows a precise definition of the specific region to be irradiated. The peaked shape of the hadron energy deposition is called Bragg peak and has become the symbol of hadrontherapy. With the use of hadrons the tumour can be irradiated while the damage to healthy tissues is less than with X-rays.