Children with cancer still without proton therapy

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Although Krakow has the only centre in Poland offering cancer treatment with proton therapy, children cannot use its services. The Cyclotron Centre (CCB IFJ) has been looking for subcontractors for paediatric patients since March.

Cyclotron Centre no longer treats children

The competition for proton treatment was signed by the National Health Fund with the Centrum Onkologii in Cracow. The Centre qualifies adults for therapy (and they are still undergoing proton therapy), while the Uniwersytecki Szpital Dzieciecy (USD) was a subcontractor in the field of paediatric patients. However, the contract ended in March this year, and a new subcontractor has not been found since then. Currently, CCB has extended the competition for proton treatment for children for the ninth time.

Moreover, as PAP informs, for formal reasons, it is also not possible for the CCB to carry out its services commercially. All because the Cyclotron Centre is a scientific unit, not a medical one. As a result, Polish small patients, despite the installation of appropriate equipment in Poland, have to go for treatment abroad. It is most often financed from collections.

Patient condition does not allow treatment outside the hospital

The fact that the Bronowice facility is a research unit is also one of the main reasons why the USD does not want to send patients there. As the hospital informed in an official statement, the indications for proton radiotherapy in children are mostly related to neoplasms of the central nervous system. The general and neurological condition of many such patients, often after severe neurosurgical procedures, does not allow for safe transport and treatment outside the hospital, i.e. within an institution without medical facilities such as CCB IFJ.

None of the organizational changes proposed by the hospital was taken into account by the Centrum Onkologii, and consequently, the conditions of the competition were not changed. Therefore, the USD emphasises that it has already informed that it will not submit any offers in the competition.

Since 2016, proton therapy in the Cyclotron Center has been completed in 10 paediatric patients. Currently, treatment of two more children, qualified under the already completed contract, is in progress.

As we have recently informed, the second proton therapy center in Poland may be established at the Centrum Onkologii in Warsaw.

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