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Russia's first proton therapy facility up and running in St. Petersburg

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | March 21, 2018
European News Rad Oncology Proton Therapy
St. Petersburg, Russia
With the first patient having successfully completed treatment at a new facility in St. Petersburg, proton therapy is officially available to treat cancer patients in Russia.

PTC St. Petersburg Center of Nuclear Medicine of the Sergey Berzin Medical Institute administered treatment this month to a pediatric patient afflicted with a brain tumor in its two-treatment room facility using Varian’s ProBeam proton therapy system.

“This is a new possibility for oncology patients, especially pediatric patients,” Dr. Arkadi Stolpner, president of the Sergey Berezin Medical Institute, told HCB News, adding that the majority of patients currently undergoing treatment at the facility are children.

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Clinicians at PTC St. Petersburg Center of Nuclear Medicine of the Sergey Berzin Medical Institute expect to treat approximately 1,000 patients annually.

Varian’s ProBeam system provides patients fully integrated intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT), enabling greater adaptive proton therapy.

Dose is delivered precisely within the contours of the tumor through the use of pencil-beam scanning technology, reducing exposure to healthy tissue. This precision is further enhanced with the addition of integrated cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT).

The advent of operations at Russia’s first proton therapy center represents a giant step in oncology care that extends beyond borders, according to Bill Hansen, director of marketing for Varian’s particle therapy division.

“St. Petersburg is a major metropolitan location in Russia with a large population, and is a well-known destination for visitors to Russia,” he told HCB News. “Its location on the western coast of Russia lends itself to easy access for northern Europe.”

Treatment of its first patient puts Russia in place with the Netherlands which also treated its first proton therapy patient in January.

Varian is currently evaluating other potential locations for proton therapy centers in Russia but has no details to share at this time.

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