EXPERTS in a revolutionary new cancer treatment are establishing a base in Ireland after the number of patients seeking their services doubled.
The Proton Therapy Center - headquarted in Prague, Czech Republic, has moved to widen its reach, as it’s revealed the numbers of Irish men and women visiting their centre has risen dramatically in the last 12 months.
They've now set up the online hub, 'Proton Therapy IRL', while establishing a team of co-ordinators to handle enquries from Irish patients.
Proton beam therapy is an alternative type of radiotherapy and uses an accelerated beam of positively-charged particles to attack cancerous cells.
The technology, which is not currently available in Ireland, is proving especially effective in the treatment of prostate cancer.
A study conducted at their facility showed the disease is currently ‘undetectable’ in all patients observed over the course of two years.
Leading radiation oncologist Dr Jiri Kubes, Medical Director of the Proton Therapy Center. said: “Establishing a presence in Ireland is a key part of our development as we expand the number of patients we treat from overseas.
“We have a dedicated team on hand to accommodate patients from Ireland to assist them in understanding proton therapy and all of the possible treatments available.
“With flights from Dublin to Prague taking a little over two hours and two new proton therapy centres currently being built in Manchester and London, proton therapy is becoming more accessible to Irish patients than ever.”
The Proton Therapy Center in Prague was established in 2012 and has seen a growing interest from world healthcare specialists as well as healthcare providers.
Within two years they launched a two-shift operation in response to growing demand and now treat thousands of patients each year from more than 25 different countries.
Meanwhile The Proton Therapy Center made headlines across the globe in 2014 after treating poorly UK toddler Ashya King.
Little Ashya, now six, and his family sparked countless news stories after parents Brett and Naghemeh, from Southampton, took him out of NHS care and travelled to the Czech Republic so that Ashya could receive private proton beam radiotherapy to successfully kill his brain tumour.
They argued that proton therapy - as opposed to traditional radiotherapy - offered fewer toxic side effects.
Thankfully Ashya responded well to treatment. He was given the all-clear in 2015 and returned to school in 2016.
"Establishing a presence in Ireland is a key part of our development as we expand the number of patients we treat from overseas."
Dr Jiri Kubes