THE FIRST PROTON THERAPY IN ISRAEL
Clinical trials of a new proton beam therapy system have begun at the Hadassah University Hospital. In case of success, this radiotherapy will not only be available in Israel for the first time, but will also cost much less than abroad.
Proton therapy is much more accurate than photon therapy, therefore safer and more effective. However, it requires rather massive equipment. In addition, the cost of its installation and application is too high.
- The cost of an average proton therapy system is $100-150 million.
- A three-story building is required to place the equipment.
- The patient requires more than $100,000.
Nowadays, only 1% of the world leading medical centers (about 70 clinics) can afford proton radiotherapy.
Thus, due to the cooperation of the Hadassah clinic with the Israeli company P-Cure, which has developed a smaller and cheaper model of the proton radiotherapy system, this promising method of treatment will soon become available to Israeli and foreign patients.
One of the main findings used in the development of this model is a special swivel seat that allows to change the angle of radiation exposure.
“First, we will offer proton therapy to patients who have not been helped by other kinds of treatment, and also to those whose tumor is too close to the vital centers, in which case conventional radiotherapy is not applicable. We are talking mainly about those suffering from recurrence of brain tumors, as well as tumors of the nose, larynx and auricle,” said Prof. Aron Popovtzer, Head of the Oncology Department at the Hadassah Hospital.
“We have been developing this technology together with P-Cure for over 2 years. Oncologists, physicists, researchers and other specialists participated in the project. The launch of this project is a very exciting moment,” said proudly Prof. Yoram Weiss, CEO of the Hadassah Hospital.