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AREVA Foundation: partnership with the new Orsay Proton Therapy Center

News brief

GROUP / COMMUNICATION

December 10, 2010

The AREVA Foundation is committed to medical research and access to healthcare for everyone. It provides financial support to associations and health organizations to train local teams, renovate healthcare centers and procure major equipment.

For example, the Foundation has been associated with the Curie Institute for the past six years, and more specifically with the Orsay Proton Therapy Center, for which it helped equip the anesthesia department and the recovery room for children, and to acquire a medical imaging device.

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In addition, employees of AREVA’s Consulting and Information Systems BU provided support for the Orsay Proton Therapy Center’s restructuring by donating skills in the form of volunteer consulting hours.

At this historic place, site of France's first cyclotron – a type of circular particle accelerator –, physicians and researchers have carried on the tradition of innovation initiated by Irène and Frédéric Joliot-Curie, joint Nobel Prize for their discovery of artificial radioactivity.

After nearly four years of complete renovation, the new Orsay Proton Therapy Center can now receive 550 patients a year, including at least 120 children.

What is proton therapy?

Proton therapy is one of the more successful forms of precision radiation therapy. Since 1991, when it was first used at Orsay, more than 5,000 patients have had the treatment, with very positive results.

Initially developed for tumors of the eye and intracranial tumors, the use of proton therapy is increasing rapidly around the world and indications for it have expanded, especially in pediatrics, due to the reduced risk of treatment-related after-effects.

The Orsay Proton Therapy Center is part of the radiation therapy platform of the Curie Institute, and is presently one of the most comprehensive in Europe. It is equipped with a new-generation proton particle accelerator and a new treatment room with an isocentric arm that can direct the proton particle beam around the patient and treat new, more difficult to access localizations, supplementing the two existing rooms with a fixed beam.