Research at HollandPTC

What is the benefit of proton therapy and how can we further improve its efficacy? These are the leading research questions of the HollandPTC Research & Development Programme.

HollandPTC research focuses on proving the benefit of proton therapy and further improving its efficacy. There is a variety of topics within the fields of biology, physics & technology and applied clinical research where we, together with our partners, focus our research. At HollandPTC we feature high-end research facilities such as a dedicated R&D bunker equipped with a stationary, horizontal beam line, a biology and physics lab for preparational work and multiple clinical research facilities to meet our research goals and to enable collaboration in different fields.

Together with our partners from Erasmus MC, LUMC and TU Delft a research consortium and the HollandPTC R&D programme have been established. The HollandPTC R&D Programme Board is the decision-making body of the consortium and manages the research programme. The programme is further divided into 6 roadmaps:

  1. Radiobiology
  2. Technology for the next generation of proton therapy
  3. Imaging for biology-guided adaptive proton therapy
  4. Implementation and evaluation of new technology
  5. Predictive modelling, big data analytics, decision making, health economics
  6. Clinical trials

Medical director and principal investigator Prof. Marco van Vulpen about his research focus:

“We are facing a paradigm shift in radiotherapy, moving from ‘elective’ to an ‘ablative’, more surgical-like, approach, with fewer treatment fractions. This is enabled by on-board imaging with optimal contrast between tumor and normal tissues, online AI-based contouring, online treatment planning and decision loops to enable a daily new treatment plan. Several innovations that enable such a tailored and personalized approach are clinically introduced, like the MRI-linac and proton therapy with advanced on-board CT. Here, the patient especially benefits.”