The Clínica Universidad de Navarra and Johns Hopkins join forces to promote proton therapy training in Spain
Our hospital centre has reached a collaboration agreement with the American institution to promote research and encourage innovation, development, and improvement of care for patients receiving proton therapy throughout the Spanish National Health System.
October 9, 2023
The Clínica Universidad de Navarra has reached a collaboration agreement with the Johns Hopkins Proton Therapy Center (Washington DC) to promote training and research in proton therapy among professionals in the Spanish National Health System. With this objective it will offer training sessions through the Clínica Universidad de Navarra Faculty of Medicine to improve research and treatments with radiotherapy technologies, with plans in the coming years to extend these treatments nationally.
“Johns Hopkins is a highly regarded institution for proton therapy. Being able to rely on the experience and track record of its professionals is a great opportunity to continue growing, facilitating training initiatives in proton therapy for professionals throughout the Spanish National Health System, and strengthening its use in Spain,” pointed out Dr. Felipe Calvo, scientific director of the Proton Therapy Unit in the Clínica Universidad de Navarra Cancer Centre.
Framed within the scope of postgraduate education at the Clínica Universidad de Navarra, professionals from the American centre will give seminars on the scientific experience and innovations in this treatment area as they relate to healthcare. To this end, the Faculty of Medicine is currently designing an expert degree on the clinical applications of proton therapy.
Likewise, as part of this agreement, the Clínica Universidad de Navarra will reinforce specialised training of its oncologists, radiologists, physicists, dosimetrists, and biomedical engineers, with the implementation of learning and observation stays at the Johns Hopkins Proton Therapy Center facilities. In Washington, course participants will be able to learn about the American centre’s equipment and working methods first-hand. In addition, they will delve into the fundamentals of proton therapy, clinical tests, and the most promising use indications that they can then apply in their own clinical practice.
Pioneers of Proton therapy in Spain
The Proton Therapy Unit at the Clínica Universidad de Navarra Cancer Centre started its work in April 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, with its Madrid headquarters being the first facility with an intrahospital configuration in Spain. Since then, it has treated 710 patients from 18 different autonomous communities. Of these, 137 came from 25 different countries. Of all the patients, 229 were aged under 18 years and 40 of those were of international origin.
During these first three and a half years, more than 24 different tumour types have been treated, with the most prevalent being paediatric cancers (26%), sarcomas (20%), and indications for re-irradiation (20%).
An article published in December 2021 in the high-impact journal Radiotherapy & Oncology indicated that, out of more than 4,200 adult patients treated across Europe, the Clínica Universidad de Navarra Cancer Centre Proton Therapy Unit had treated the widest range of different tumour types with proton therapy.