At the end of 2019, the first European comprehensive clinical proton therapy center for cancer treatment - Rinecker Proton Therapy Center (RPTC) in Munich - threatens to close. The center was established in 2009. Now, due to the inability to achieve certain number of treated patients continuously, it can not be maintained cost-effectively and has to be shut down.
After knowing that the center was about to close at the end of October 2019, 60 employees of RPTC immediately launched an initiative to maintain the proton therapy tradition in Bavaria, in order to inform the public about this treatment that is utterly important for cancer patients, as well as the related requirements to maintain this treatment method and to increase the public attention to this topic.
According to the DEGRO (German Society of Radiation Oncology), proton therapy is a precise form of radiotherapy to treat tumor disease, which is considered as particularly mild and effective. There are currently more than 70 proton therapy centers in operation world-wide, including five in Germany (Heidelberg, Munich, Essen, Dresden, Marburg) and an old proton facility in Berlin for the treatment of ocular tumors.
Notwithstanding, the German proton therapy centers can not completely cover the demand of all patients with “secured indications for proton therapy”. That means thousands of cancer patients, especially children and patients with complex and rare tumors, will be deprived to be treated with such an effective and gentle treatment. This situation will continue to deteriorate in the next few years, because the incidence of cancer disease is expected to increase by at least 20% according to the development of the German population till 2030.
We advocate the maintenance of this proton therapy center in the heart of the Bavaria in Munich, because we have the most experience in the treatment of highly complex oncological conditions. And we are committed to protecting the interest of patients in enjoying this precise treatment and ensure that we will do our utmost to maintain this center, as well as to strive for the status of proton therapy in cancer treatment in Germany.
Finally, we need your support urgently. We have to collect at least 24.000 signatures to submit a petition to the Bavarian parliament.