Investing in medical innovation: the Leuven cancer institute

In the Leuven cancer institute, doctors, nurses, basic scientists and clinical researchers pool their knowledge and experience in the fight against cancer. Research, therapy and care find another in a reinforced interaction.

In a highly specialised cancer centre such as UZ Leuven, doctors fully commit to personalised treatment and precision medicion, not just with the right expertise, but also with the newest highly-technological devices. 

To fight cancer effectively, the Leuven cancer institure combines different therapies, tailored to the individual patient's needs, such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, molecular target therapy and immunotherapy. The Leuven cancer institute is a pioneer in the domain of CART cells, a brand new type of immunotherapy that uses the patient's own immunce cells to recognise and attack the cancer cell. 

First proton therapy centre in Belgium

In 2020, the first Belgian centre for proton therapy opened its doors on the Health Sciences campus Gasthuisberg. Proton therapy is an innovative type of radiotherapy that targets malignant tumours with a bundels of proton beams and thus minimises damage to the surrounding tissue. It is estimated that there will be 150 to 200 Belgian patients annually that will qualify for proton beam therapy. This will be predominantly children with cancer and adults with certain rare cancers, such as tumours at the base of the skull, close to the spine or right next to the optic nerve. This number can still go up in the future if new indications for proton therapy are determined based on clinical-scientific trials. 

The centre in Leuven is unique in that it has two bunkers, one for patients and one for research. ParTICLe, the inter-university treatment and research centre for proton therapy, is a consortium of UZ Leuven/KU Leuven and Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc/UCL and is supported by UZ Gent, UZA, UZ Brussel and CHU UCL Namur.

Read more about the proton centre
Last edit: 10 March 2023