The Ministry of Health is planning to add four new indications for proton therapy to the basket of guaranteed services. These will be strings or cartilage molluscs in children (tumours of the base of the skull and perinatal region) and soft tissue and bone sarcomas in adults (tumours of the periosteum, base of the skull and spinal region). The Ministry of Health also wants to introduce financing for the treatment of glandular and cystic salivary gland tumours, after surgery and without the possibility of repeated surgery. The fourth indication is to be the local recurrence of head and neck cancer, after radical radiotherapy, if repeated radical irradiation is required.
There is currently one proton therapy centre in Poland – Bronowice Cyclotron Centre (within the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences). It provides services based on agreements with, among others, the University Hospital in Kraków and the University Children’s Hospital in Kraków. It is estimated that the centre uses only 10-15% of its capacity due to low financing.
According to the recommendations of the European Society of Oncological Radiation Therapy, there should be one protonotherapy centre per 10 million inhabitants. This means that there should be 3-4 such centres in Poland. According to the report “Strategy of protonotherapy development in Poland”, about 2 thousand patients annually have indications for protonotherapy.