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Every year more than 200,000 patients come to Spain from all over the world. About 60% of foreigners choose clinics in this country to fight malignant tumours. Thanks to the latest advances in oncological therapy, approximately 70% of children in Spanish medical centres defeat cancer. 8 out of 10 adults with such a diagnosis surpass the threshold of 5 years of survival. To learn what advanced methods Spanish doctors use to treat cancer patients, read the article!
 

 

How is cancer treated in Spain?

    In Spain, every 3rd woman and 2nd man has cancer. The country’s cancer survival rate has increased by 20% in the past 20 years. This is made possible by accurate diagnosis and advanced treatment methods, in particular – proton therapy.

 

In the fight against cancer, Spanish doctors used international protocols. They are a set of norms and standards that have been established based on scientific experience in treating a specific disease. These protocols are drawn up with several factors in mind:

 

    Characteristics of the tumour:

     

    иконка галочки type of neoplasm;

    иконка галочки location and size of the focal area;

    иконка галочки lesions of lymph nodes or other organs.

    Patient specifics:

     

    иконка галочки age;

    иконка галочки the general state of human health;

    иконка галочки presence of other serious diseases and conditions.

 

The key methods of cancer treatment include surgical intervention, radiation and chemical therapy.


For some tumours, other “specific” methods are used to eliminate oncopathology, such as laser treatment, hormonal therapy, immunotherapy, etc.


A treatment plan is developed for each patient on an individual basis. An interdisciplinary team of specialists participates in the creation of the oncotherapy programme.

 

The multidisciplinary team includes oncologists, haematologists, onco-surgeons, chemotherapists and radiologists. If necessary, narrowly specialized physicians are involved in treatment.

выбор методов лечения онкологии в испании

Proton therapy treatment for cancer in Spain 

    About 200,000 people worldwide have received proton therapy. This method is safer than radiotherapy. The accuracy of the ray is less than 1 millimetre, while in radiation therapy it is 2-5 millimetres. In Spain, this method is only available at the Navarra Proton Therapy Center.

 

Proton therapy is a type of radiation therapy in which tumours are destroyed by protons rather than by X-rays. It is used to treat cancer and some benign tumours – pituitary adenomas.


Protons are positively charged particles. Using a special unit, they are sent to penetrate through human tissue at high speed and destroy cancer cells. This method is used separately or in combination with surgery, immunotherapy and chemistry. 


Patients receive treatment on an outpatient basis. This means that they do not need to be in the hospital at all times. The number of sessions depends on the type and stage of cancer. As a rule, 5 sessions lasting between 15 and 45 minutes are enough to eliminate a tumour. 

 

протонная терапия в испании кирон

After proton therapy, patients can immediately return to their usual way of life. They have no side effects that may occur after classical radiation, for example:

 

    иконка галочки Pain, skin flaking and swelling in the area exposed to radiation;

    иконка галочки dizziness and nausea;

    иконка галочки difficulty swallowing;

    иконка галочки gastrointestinal tract dysfunction;

    иконка галочки increased fatigue and drowsiness.

 

Proton therapy is a painless procedure. It is used to fight cancer not only in adults but also in small children. The survival rate of kids with cancer after using this method has increased to 90%. 

 

    At the Navarra Proton Therapy Centre, the irradiation machine is equipped with a special projector that shows soothing rollers for children. According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, proton therapy lets healthy tissue receive 60% less radiation than conventional radiotherapy. This makes it possible to use higher doses of radiation on the tumour itself. 

Results of proton cancer treatment

    иконка галочки The 5-year survival threshold for head and neck cancer is over 66.8% of patients.

    иконка галочки More than 97.2% of patients with metastasis-free breast cancer surpass the 3-year survival threshold.

    иконка галочки For prostate cancer stage 1-2, the five-year survival rate is 99%.

     

    иконка галочки The 3-year survival threshold for inoperable lung tumours is surpassed by 86% of patients.

    иконка галочки The two-year survival rate for patients with inoperable liver cancer is around 95%.

    иконка галочки 60% of patients overcome the 5-year survival threshold for nasopharyngeal cancer.

Targeted therapy in Spain

The use of targeting drugs has made a breakthrough in global oncology. These drugs target cancerous cells without damaging healthy human organs and systems. They destroy the tumour or stop its growth. Targeting drugs are divided into low-molecular inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies.


Low-molecular inhibitors are chemically synthesized substances. They penetrate the malignant cells and block the process of division and proliferation.


Monoclonal antibodies mark and block a specific target outside the cancer cells. Some monoclonal antibodies mark pathological cells so that they can be detected and destroyed by the immune system, while others directly stop the tumour from growing or cause it to self-destruct.

 

There are also monoclonal antibodies that carry toxins directly into the malignancy.


Target therapy can be used alone or in combination with other treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In Spain, this method is used to fight cancer of the prostate, breast, lung, intestines, lymphoma, melanoma, etc. 


применение таргетных препаратов в испании

 

Dendritic cell therapy in Spain

терапия дендритными клетками в испании

Dendritic cell therapy is a type of immunotherapy. It has been used since 2010. Over 4,500 patients have undergone treatment since then. Spanish hospitals use this method for breast cancer, glioma, melanoma, sarcoma and other malignant tumours. 

 

Dendritic cell therapy involves using cells from the human immune system to activate the body to fight cancer.

 

These cells are received from the patient’s blood and sent to the laboratory for “reconfiguration”. They are then returned to the patient in the form of a vaccine. 

 

This type of immune therapy is prescribed in combination with chemistry or radiation exposure. It increases the effectiveness of cancer treatment by a factor of 2-3.

Where are new cancer treatments available in Spain?

 

Navarra Proton Therapy Center is spain’s first proton therapy centre, which offers its patients a unique cancer treatment. This facility receives around 800 patients per year, half of whom are foreigners. 


The Hitachi, the latest modification, is installed here. It irradiates the tumour at various angles, rotating around the patient by 220 degrees. With this unit, it is possible to fully cure or achieve remission for lung, liver, breast, prostate, bone, soft tissue, brain, head and neck cancer.


The centre uses spectral imaging technology from GE Healthcare. This system allows for the clear display of areas of exposure and the calculation of radiation doses. The procedure is successful in 99% of patients.

The world-renowned Cancer Institute operates at the Teknon Clinic. It opened in 1995. The doctors there treat almost 20,000 patients from all over the world every year. It is one of the best clinics for lung cancer diagnosis and treatment in Spain.


The founder of the Institute is Professor José Baselga. He took cancer treatment in Spain to the next level.


Specialists at this institution deal with a wide range of solid tumours and haematological diseases. They provide a qualified second opinion and offer an alternative to previously prescribed treatment. 

 

Quirónsalud University Hospital Madrid has a large oncology department and highly specialised centres to fight specific cancers, particularly breast and skin. The latest technologies and medicines are available here – the O-Arm diagnostic system, the Da Vinci-SI HD robotic unit and surgical brachytherapy.

 

This medical institution is considered synonymous with quality and reliability. The hospital is home to an ultramodern radiation therapy centre, where all the achievements of western nuclear medicine can be seen under one roof:

 

    иконка галочки a virtual CT modelling system;

    иконка галочки double linear accelerator for radiation therapy;

    иконка галочки amorphous silicon detector for monitoring radiation exposure;

    иконка галочки proton accelerator for stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).

Leading oncologists in Spain

Dr Philippe Calvo

Head of the Radiation Department of Navarra hospital and Director of the Proton Therapy Center in Navarra. He is one of the top radiation oncologists in Spain. Dr. Calvo has over 35 years of experience.

Dr José Baselga

Head of the Oncology Institute Quirónsalud Barcelona. He introduced monoclonal cancer antibodies in Spain. Dr Baselga has been practising for over 30 years.

Dr Isabel Rodriguez

Leading oncologist at the Hospital of Navarra in Madrid. He specializes in the treatment of malignant breast tumors. The doctor performs operations to remove tumors in the chest, accepts patients for check-up diagnostics. She has been practicing for about 30 years.

Professor Emili Montserrat

A world-renowned oncohaematologist. He is the Director of the Hematology Institute at Teknon Hospital. The doctor is one of the experts on the treatment of lymphoma and leukaemia in the World Health Organisation. Emili Montserrat has over 48 years of experience.

Professor Josep Tabernero

Oncologist at the Clinic Quirónsalud Barcelona. He specialises in the treatment of Gastrointestinal Cancer. The doctor is developing new drugs for the treatment of stomach and intestinal tumours. He has been practising for over 30 years.

Reviews on cancer treatment in Spain

испания лечение флаг Clinic: Navarra
Advances in Spanish medicine in cancer treatment Procedure: Melanoma removal

Advances in Spanish medicine in cancer treatment Patient’s age: 32 years
Advances in Spanish medicine in cancer treatment Patient from: Kyiv

Milena: “I decided to leave my feedback on treatment in Spain. For the first time in my life, I had to seek help from foreign specialists. Thanks to MediGlobus, I was able to go to Spain for treatment of melanoma. There, I was admitted to the Navarra Hospital. To treat the disease, I had a tumour removal operation and interferon therapy. Now cancer has receded – I am healthy! “

испания лечение флаг Clinic: Navarra Proton Therapy Centre
Advances in Spanish medicine in cancer treatment Which procedure: Proton therapy

Advances in Spanish medicine in cancer treatment Patient’s age: 5 years
Advances in Spanish medicine in cancer treatment Patient from: Karaganda

Amir: “My son was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. To defeat the disease, we decided to go abroad. We found information on the Internet that such tumours are successfully treated in Spain with proton therapy. So we immediately contacted the Navarra Proton Therapy Centre. There, our child underwent repeated examinations and proton therapy. The result was remission.”

 

    Resume

    иконка галочки Around 60% of foreigners choose Spain for cancer treatment. Thanks to the latest advances in oncological therapy, approximately 70% of children in Spanish medical centres defeat the disease. 8 out of 10 adults with this diagnosis overcome the 5-year survival threshold.

    иконка галочки The country’s cancer survival rate has increased by 20% in the past 20 years. This has been made possible by precise diagnosis and advanced treatment methods, in particular, proton therapy and cell therapy.

    иконка галочки In Europe, about 175,000 people received proton therapy. This method is safer than radiotherapy. The accuracy of radiation exposure to the tumour is less than one millimetre, and in radiation therapy, it is 2-5 millimetres. In Spain, this method is only available at the Navarra Proton Therapy Center.

    иконка галочки Dendritic cell therapy and targeting drugs are the best methods to combat oncology of any complexity. These options make it possible to treat cancers without harming the whole organism. They increase the effectiveness of oncology therapy by a factor of 2-3.

    иконка галочки Leading Spanish oncologists include Dr Philippe Calvo, Professor Emili Montserrat, Dr José Baselga, Professor Josep Tabernero and Dr Isabel Rodriguez.

    иконка галочки The latest advances in oncotherapy are available at the Spanish clinics: Proton Therapy Centre at Navarra, Baselga Institute, Navarra Hospital Group.

 

Ask the MediGlobus coordinator doctors for more information about oncology in Spanish clinics. To arrange treatment in this country – leave your application on the website. We will answer you as soon as possible!

Advances in Spanish medicine in cancer treatment

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Sources:

 

  1. 1. Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer
  2. 2. National Center for Biotechnology Information

 


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