Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman visits Inova Hospital in North Virginia..
(photo credit: HEALTH MINISTRY)
Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman has ordered his ministry to finalize plans to establish a proton beam therapy center in Israel. The announcement came after Litzman returned this week from a visit to the US.
Proton therapy is a type of radiation treatment that uses a charged particle called protons to treat cancer. It is a more accurate form of radiation treatment that allows the treatment of cancerous tumors while significantly minimizing harm to nearby organs. It is especially advantageous in treating brain tumors in children.
The Health Ministry estimates that approximately 250 patients will be treated annually in Israel, including 150 children. It will cost approximately $60 million to establish the center and $6m. annually to operate it.
The center will be established as an independent medical institution and will be affiliated with a hospital, which can provide associated clinical services. This will ensure that patients from across the country – no matter their hospital or insurance – will be eligible for proton treatment as deemed necessary by their doctors.
Until now, Israelis in need of proton therapy have been sent to centers overseas, including in the US and Austria.