Leuven will soon house ParTICLe (Particle Therapy Interuniversity Center Leuven), Belgium's first proton therapy centre. Construction has started in attendance of Philippe Muyters (Flemish minister of Labour, Economy, Innovation and Sport), Maggie De Block (minister of Social Affairs and Public Health) and Jo Vandeurzen (Flemish minister of Welfare, Public Health and Family). ParTICLe is set to open in 2019.
Source UZ Leuven
The University Hospitals Leuven (UZ Leuven), KU Leuven, Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc and the UCL are investing in a brand new treatment and research centre for proton therapy, which is unique in Belgium. It is a nation wide collaboration with UZ Ghent, Antwerp University Hospital and UZ Brussels, supported by the Flemish government and in coordination with referring hospitals as well as other research institutes and industrial partners.
The centre will be located on the Health Sciences campus Gasthuisberg of the University Hospitals Leuven. Moreover, embedding the proton centre in an academic hospital will provide several important benefits such as the presence of an existing radiotherapy department which the proton centre is a part of, optimal integration with supporting departments and maximal connection with clinical care paths that employ proton therapy (e.g. paediatrics).
Next to clinical care, the centre also includes education & training, and research & innovation, all in close collaboration with different partners (academic and non-academic).
Picture UZ Leuven
Proton therapy is an innovative type of radiotherapy that radiates malignant tumours with proton beams with as little damage to the healthy surrounding tissue as possible. In addition, the dose distribution is better adjusted to the shape of the tumour. More accurate dose distribution can, in various ways, be translated into clinical benefits: less radiation-induced side effects and better tumour control.