Research and clinical trials

Our research into finding new applications for proton therapy to treat cancer continues

Proton therapy research association

The medical community continues to conduct proton therapy research studies. Leading cancer treatment institutions such as the Mayo Clinic, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the MD Anderson Cancer Center and John Hopkins form a research association that our Proton Therapy Unit also belongs to, with multiple prospective clinical trials underway to help find improvements in cancer treatment using this therapy.

Given the academic nature of the Universidad de Navarra Hospital, research is one of our strategic pillars. We take part in clinical trials and generate clinical and translational research projects in conjunction with the Center for Applied Medical Research (CIMA).

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Research projects

With the aim of changing the course of oncological disease, the Proton Therapy Unit has six active competitively funded research projects.

The "Retos Investigación" project, carried out together with the Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas (CIEMAT) and financed by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, focuses on the biology of proton therapy with a double objective:

  • The study of the biological effects of proton therapy.
  • The study of the combination of proton therapy with immunotherapy to improve treatment in patients.
The "VASA" project analyzes, through biomarkers, the impact that radiotherapy has on the arteries and veins (in the circulating blood) during the necessary irradiation in oncological patients and the way in which it should influence the modification of daily clinical practice, with the aim of varying the dosimetric planning of the irradiation itself, predicting the effect on immunocompetence and endothelial injury in order to adapt it and prevent other health problems such as arteriosclerosis, through pharmacological therapies and lifestyle modification.
The "Arcadian" project, within Horizon 2020, focuses on the evaluation of the telematic control of pediatric patients coming from other hospitals to be treated with proton therapy Unit at the Clínica Universidad de Navarra.
One of the Health Research Fund (FIS) projects is studying hypofractionation of proton therapy and photon therapy treatment for prostate cancer.
The "ERAPERMED" research is a European study, in collaboration with the Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC) to predict, at the dosimetric level, radiotherapy toxicity in prostate cancer in both proton therapy and radiotherapy to investigate the difference between the two treatments.
The "HORMESIS" study is a multi-institutional project focused on the biological effects of low doses of irradiation, generally associated with unnecessary exposure of normal tissues in clinical oncology practice.