Swiss Proton Users' Group
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Avant-projet de protonthérapie en Suisse romande

Lobbying for a protontherapy centre in a Lemanic medical facility: milestones

Summary minutes of the


held on Tuesday June 20th, 2000 at PSI

  • Dr G. Goitein, Medical Director, Radiation Medicine, PSI
  • PD Dr R. Miralbell, President, Swiss Proton Users Group
  • Dr L. Cozzi, Vice-President, Swiss Proton Users Group

Participants - representatives of the PSI and the following Swiss Radiation Oncology Centers: Kantonspital Basel, Ospedale San Giovanni Bellinzona, Lindenhofspital Bern, Hôpital Communal de La Chaux-de-Fonds, Hôpital Cantonal de Genève, CHUV Lausanne, Hôpital Régional de Sion, Kantonsspital Winterthur, Unisspital Zürich.

Absents - Kantonsspital Aarau, Inselspital Bern, Kantonsspital Chur, Hôpital Cantonal de Fribourg, Kantonsspital Luzern, Kantonsspital Münsterlingen, Kantonspital St Gallen, Triemlispital Zürich.

I. Clinical experience with protons at PSI: an update.

After a short welcome address and introduction, G. Goitein with the technical support of members of her staff (A. Lomax, and M. Grossmann), presented a summary of the treatment experience with the gantry at PSI since November 1996. In summary, 41 patients have been treated since and through 1999. The treatment goal was palliative in 9 patients and curative in 32 (10 meningioma, 7 glioma, 8 chordoma/chondrosarcoma, 3 sarcoma, and 4 miscellaneous). Twelfe patients were adressed from Geneva, 6 from Lausanne, 4 from Bellinzona, 4 from Zürich, 3 from Aarau, 1 from Basel, 1 from Sion, and 10 from other European countries). Since the recent start of the treatment season in Spring 2000, 21 patients have been considered for or scheduled to receive protontherapy at PSI in the next few months. Questions were asked about billing, housing, and medical care while the patients at PSI. Two children (< 10 years old) were able to be treated in 1999 without problems. Three patients of Geneva (all gliomas) developed a biopsy proven radionecrosis in the treatment field. Investigations are ongoing. The ability to consult the PSI phisicists and medical staff through the network (net-meeting) from the remote Swiss Radiation Oncology centers was highlighted and the participants were encouraged to install net-meeting in their PCs (technical support was offered by M. Grossmann from PSI to the centers willing to participate). Only Bellinzona, Bern, Geneva, and Lausanne are fully connected yet.

II. PROSCAN project: present status and future

Professor M.K. Eberle, Director of the PSI gave a brief summary of the goals and agenda of the PROSCAN project (i.e., building of a second cyclotron at PSI exclusively for treatment purposes and development of a second gantry with the support of the industry). This project was intended to start in 1999 and be completed in 2003. The budget previsions for such a project is of 20 million SFr. One third of this budget (i.e. ~7 million SFr) should be covered by PSI ressources, one third by the sponsors (industrial partners), and the remaining one third by private funding. Up to know banks, and private ressources have succeeded to collect ~4 million SFr (3 more million SFr are needed). Contacts with the Swiss League against Cancer are ongoing and may hopefully help to provide additional ressources for this project. Although Professor Eberle was optimistic concerning the obtention of private funding in the near future, he was not willing to push the project forward before collecting the 7 million SFr. Unfortunately, a final agreement with the industrial partners (1/3 of the budget) has not been reached yet.

III. Project for a hospital based proton therapy center in Switzerland: the Lausanne project

After a short introduction by Professor R. Mirimanoff, R. Miralbell presented the project as nominated president of the «Lausanne's Commission for development of protontherapy in a Lemanic medical facility». The rationale and development of this project are summarized in the following two documents: «Avant-projet de protonthérapie en Suisse romande» and «Lobbying for a protontherapy center in a Lemanic medical facility: milestones». Briefly, this project aims to transfer the cyclotron and gantry developed in the context of the PROSCAN project to a medical facility in the lemanic region after 2004. This project shoud have a federal scope and is intended to benefit from the support of the Universities of Geneva and Lausanne, the PSI, the EPFL, the IRA, the CERN, and the Swiss Proton Users' Group. The presentation of this project and its milestones intended to inform the Group members, get their feed-back, and assess if a large consensus was possible around the idea of transfering, in the future, protontherapy from the PSI to a Swiss medical facility as widely agreed in the Swiss Proton Users' Group Meeting of December 1998. It may be wise to organize in the next future a consensus meeting exclusively devoted to discuss this question.

IV. Varia

L. Cozzi mentioned his interest to help to develop a web page with regularly published newsletters and updates on partient treatments at PSI as part of the Swiss Proton Users' Group task. This web page should be part of the SGSMP-SASRO (or PSI) web portal. This proposal was widely accepted and hopefully will be soon implemented.

R. Miralbell, 8.8.2000

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