The website is intended to be a resource for those interested in Carbon Ion Therapy. It aspires to become a single access point to information about Carbon Ion Therapy for radiation oncologists, radiotherapists, tumour specialists, medical physicists, radiobiologists and others specialising in cancer treatment.
It should also prove useful for patients, carers and the general reader with an interest in the treatment of certain tumour types with particles.
At the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University Hospital of Heidelberg, carbon ion and proton radiotherapy will be offered at the Heidelberg Ion Therapy Centre (UKL-HD). The facility offers three treatment rooms, two horizontal treatment rooms and one gantry, for proton as well as carbon ion radiotherapy. The gantry is the world’s first carbon ion gantry. In the facility, treatment of over 1300 patients per year with particle therapy will be possible. In Germany, UKL-HD is the first centre to offer proton as well as carbon ion treatment and will be operational at the beginning of 2009. The staff has extensive experience in all conventional and modern radiation therapy techniques and has substantial experience with carbon ion radiotherapy. Ongoing research at UKL-HD is in tight connection with the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University Hospital of Heidelberg and the Departments of Radiation Oncology and Medical Physics at the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ). From medical physics, optimization of ion treatment from beam application, treatment planning and delivery is currently under evaluation. Transfer of novel physical applications into clinical practice in a timely fashion is a main goal. Radiation Biology offers high-end project on a cellular and molecular basis, with special focus on radiobiological effects of high-LET beams as well as angiogenesis and molecular responses to radiation therapy. In conjunction with the University Hospitals of Heidelberg and the National Centre to Tumour Diseases (Nationales Centrum für Tumorerkrankungen, NCT) innovative clinical concepts and studies of all phases are being conducted and will have a main focus on the evaluation of carbon ion radiotherapy in a number of tumour entities. With the UKL-HD facility, the unique possibility to perform physical, biological and clinical studies will open new horizons. For clinical evaluations, the facility offers the possibility for large randomized studies on protons, carbon ions and photons alike.
In the Spring of 2008, a meeting was held in Paris hosted by the British Ambassador to France at his Residence. Its purpose was to review progress in proton and particle therapy, to foster new collaborations and to discuss the facilities available in France. Sadly for the UK where much of the pioneering work in particle therapy was advanced in the 1960s and 70s, there is now only a modest proton facility in Clatterbridge. In France, in contrast, there are several facilities of which two that are in development are of special interest to the Carbon Ion Therapy community. These are the ARCHADE project in Caen and the ETOILE project in Lyon. (to be completed)