10 years ago – on the 18th of February 2011 – the very first proton radiotherapy in Poland has been accomplished at the Henryk Niewodniczański Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences (IFJ PAN). Radiotherapy of the group of patients of the University Hospital in Kraków suffering from the uveal melanoma has been conducted by physicians from the Ophthalmology and Ophthalmic Oncology Clinical Department of the University Hospital in Kraków and at that time the Center of Oncology – the Maria Skłodowska–Curie Institute, Kraków branch, and physicists from the IFJ PAN. The proton beam was provided by the AIC–144 cyclotron and the treatment took place in a dedicated room built specially for this purpose.
It was an important milestone of the proton radiotherapy development process in Poland. More of them came in the following years. Today a part of the IFJ PAN is a modern proton radiotherapy facility – the Cyclotron Center Bronowice. A new cyclotron and three treatment rooms (two of them are gantry type with scanning pencil beams) allow to treat tumors of any localization within human body.
It is a tradition and a reason to take pride that generations of cyclotrons from Bronowice – U–120, AIC–144, and now Proteus C–235 – have helped protect health by producing therapeutic neutron and proton beams.