Belgian medical technology firm Ion Beam Applications (IBA) has won a €50m contract from the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) to establish the first proton therapy centre in Groningen, the Netherlands.

Proton therapy is an advanced and targeted cancer radiotherapy treatment, where the protons deposit the majority of their effective energy within a precisely controlled range and directly within the tumour, sparing healthy surrounding tissue.

According to the company, higher doses can be delivered to the tumour without increasing the risk of side effects and long-term complications.

The new centre will be equipped with the company’s Proteus PLUS two-gantry room configuration, including its pencil beam scanning and Cone Beam CT (CBCT) capabilities.

"According to the company, higher doses can be delivered to the tumour without increasing the risk of side effects and long-term complications."

As part of the deal, IBA will also be involved in the long-term operation and maintenance of the project.

IBA CEO Olivier Legrain said: "Following a rigorous public tender process, we are delighted that IBA has been selected as the best proton therapy provider to build the first ever proton therapy centre in the Netherlands.

"More than half of the worldwide proton therapy market is equipped by IBA. Over 40,000 patients have been treated by IBA systems, more than all major competitive installations combined.

"Thanks to our unique experience, we are committed to supporting UMCG to provide high-quality cancer treatment to more patients across the region."

The company’s systems are operating in 18 proton therapy centres, while 16 additional centres are under development.

UMCG managing director of the Proton Therapy Center Groningen Bert-Jan Souman said: "We are now eager to see the Proton Therapy centre opening its doors in 2017 and to provide this technology for the benefit of thousands of cancer patients in Holland."

The company’s flexible and adaptable proton therapy solutions allows customers to choose from universal full-scale proton therapy centres, as well as compact, single room systems.

IBA also has a radiation dosimetry business and develops particle accelerators for the medical industry.

Image: IBA will equip the new centre in the Netherlands with its Proteus Plus two-gantry room configuration. Photo: courtesy of PRNewswire / IBA 2015.