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Proton Therapy Centre: Contract Signed

One year for the works to begin, four years until fully operational.

Yesterday morning the director of Asl 12 Antonio Padoan signed the contract for the construction of the Proton Therapy Centre for the treatment of advanced cancer.
Mestre, for its ideal location - close to the airport, the new hospital and the University of Padova - will become the first Italian city with a state-of-the-art centre that uses proton rather than photon beams. Unlike other techniques, proton therapy does not damage healthy tissues and lessens the risk of developing complications from treatment in later life.

The contract. The contract was signed by Antonio Padoan, as well as the president of the Ptc (Proton therapy centre) consortium and the managing directors of Hideal, Condotte, Gemmo, Varian and Medipass.
Works are expected to begin within a year.
The centre will be built on a project financing basis, that is, almost completely by private sponsors. It will cost 159 million euros; 63 of which will cover advanced medical equipment.
The works are expected to last 4 years.
"With 1,400 patients", said the Director, "we should already break even and the Region will make a profit, but the aim is to treat 4,000 patients a year".
One cycle of proton therapy costs about 23,000 euros, less than half the cost of chemo.
The Asl spends 102 million euros a year for cancer treatment.
“Today - said Padoan - marks the last leg of a race begun in June 2005. We reach this agreement after years of technical, political and financial difficulties. This process was started by former President of Veneto Giancarlo Galan and promoted by current president Luca Zaia, who in this same room proposed our company as a candidate to the construction of the proton therapy centre. Today, thirty such centres in the world apply this less invasive therapy, that improves the quality of life".
Padoan then mentioned the exceptionally high incidence of cancer in the Venice area, 50% higher than the national average.

The process. The centre will be built behind the hospital, close to the helipad site.
Works could begin within a year.
The Region is approving amendments to the project, at which time the final project will be drafted. Soil investigations at the building site have already been launched.
Architect Emilio Ambasz, the man behind Banca degli Occhi and Ospedale dell’Angelo, will curate the project’s aesthetics. The four-storey centre will be the length of a football field.
“Project financing, added Antonio Parente, President of Ptc, has strict deadlines and requires full commitment. For us, it is the beginning of a great adventure”.

Treatments. The five-room centre will have 5 treatment stations, working 16 hours per day in two 8-hour shifts: the cyclotron, the device producing protons, is 3 x 5 m.
Varian representative Mauro Mey explained, “It will be staffed by 60 to 80 professionals, who will be able to treat 120 to 150 patients a day”.
“The Veneto region, said Gugliemo Brayda, Medipass Managing Director, joins the most prestigious institutions across the world that chose the path of proton therapy: this is the greatest tech project ever launched in Italy”.

(29-07-2011 – la Nuova Venezia)
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