The girl who has to treat cancer in Switzerland because Catalonia did not derive Madrid

During the two years that the protonten officer of Madrid leads open, Catalan healing has derived patients susceptible to this therapy to Germany, Switzerland,

The girl who has to treat cancer in Switzerland because Catalonia did not derive Madrid

During the two years that the protonten officer of Madrid leads open, Catalan healing has derived patients susceptible to this therapy to Germany, Switzerland, Italy or France. Today will be the first evaluation consultation of a patient derived to the capital, to the center of Quironstalud, as the world has known. Until now, the rest suffered the destiny of Matilda. This four-year-old girl has to spend little more than a month in Zurich to eliminate a tumor in her brain. From there, accompanied only by her parents, she travels every day 35 kilometers to the Paul Scherre Institute to receive one of the 30 sessions that make up her therapy.

His mother, Sofia, tells this newspaper, during the journey to the Swiss Center, how they take it. "We do not understand why (so far) having possibilities in Madrid, they derived us to Switzerland, we asked the doctors and did not give us an answer, we even asked in Madrid how much treatment cost and is very expensive, from about 30,000 euros, according to the indication ".

The price is not a barrier for access to this torte therapy. Because, despite being in private health centers, the Ministry run Carolina Darias has included it within the 'offer' therapeutic with coverage of public coffers. "On November 30, 2020, an agreement was made public from the Committee on Benefits, Assurance and Financing on various considerations on the protontency technique that included the recommendation to establish an interdisciplinary commission in each autonomous community, general guidelines / criteria, Therapeutic indications and follow-up commitment, "explain from the Department of Darias.

Before the arrival of the two protontency centers to Spain, "Health also suffocated the costs of referrals to other European centers. Now it is unfair that a community has maintained it, since it was increased the logistics costs of displacement and accommodation of the patient and his family, "he denounces from the Columbus Foundation his secretary and employer, Javier García Cogoror.

As explained Raymond Miralbell, scientific director of the Chironstalud Protonenterapy Center, on protonten officer and its benefits, "it is a type of external radiotherapy that uses proton beams to irradiate the tissue affected by a tumor, so it currently represents an alternative More advanced, safe and effective in the fight against some types of cancer, compared to classical radiotherapy, since it allows `'sculpting' radiation dose around the tumor, minimizing the risk of damaging the surrounding healthy tissues. This causes that It is currently indicated in tumors of the skull base, central nervous system tumors or pediatric tumors, among others ".

In this sense, Felipe Calvo, co-director of radiotherapy oncology of the University of Navarra clinic, says that "in our center we have addressed skull-based tumors, condrosarcoma, cordomas, craniopharyns, ependymimas, esophagus, gynecological, hypophysis, breast, meduloblastomas, Nasopharyngeals, oligometastastasis, orbit, for-spinal, prostate, lung, rhabdomyosarcoma, straight, reiring, brain sarcoma, Software sarcoma and hepatocarcinoma ".

"In fact, in pediatric patients, it is where the benefit of protonteration is greater, given that healthy tissues that are around the tumor are still under development and are more sensitive to radiation. In addition to its high level of healing

, which is beneficial for an integral development and the induction of radio-inducted cancers in adult life, "Miralbell details.

But, who decides where patients are derived? Since healing, he affirms that they do not and from the Ministry of Health of Catalonia respond to the question that "this question must send it to the Ministry of Health." The Ministry that runs since last May Josep Maria Argimon has also not argued this decision when from the Columbus Foundation they have raised this issue.

"It is unfair to submit to families to unnecessary stress. Even in the middle of the pandemic, when other autonomies already began to send patients to Madrid, Catalonia sent patients to Germany, France or Switzerland, with mobility and transmission restrictions Of the cases throughout Europe, "says García Cogoror.

"We are lucky". It is surprising to listen to this phrase to Matilda's mother, who detected the tumor at the San Joan de Deu Hospital in February 2020 and by a relapse last August, the result of an operation that did not give the expected result, has been Sent to Switzerland to treat your brain tumor. "My husband and I can come here, we talked several languages. But we are aware that this is not like that for many families."

Because, as García Cogorio points out, "not everything is an economic question. We suffer the expenses here in Spain and outside. We know that it was higher. But emotional shortcomings and added stress weigh a lot in such a dramatic situation in which Anyone does what is necessary for a child. " The Columbus Foundation was born with the purpose of being able to help families who have to scroll out of Spain to receive this type of treatment in 2017.

While Matilda has to wait at the end of November to finish her treatment in Zurich, Sofia celebrates that today "has been changed and begins to derive patients to Madrid." Although she is somewhat skeptical, because "the last conversation we had with the radiologist of Vall d'Ebron Hospital that processes the requests a month ago assured that it was not possible ...".

For almost two years, Spain has been a privileged situation regarding proton-based therapies. In the center of the country, two centers have been opened that allow us to receive this type of treatment against tumors, one belongs to the University of Navarra clinic (at its headquarters in Madrid) and the other to the QuironSalud Group (located in Pozuelo de Alarcón).

To these two centers in a minimum period of three or four years a dozen fruit of the donation of the Foundation of Amancio Ortega of 280 million euros for the purchase of equipment will be added. A decision that will take to materialize because the protontenting installations require certain infrastructures. Experts point out that it is "more complicated than 'plugging' an ecograph".

Meanwhile, "Catalonia does not take this opportunity [until today] and many families have to make a great investment in accommodation and displacement, sometimes more than 6,000 euros, so that their child can be treated with protonten officer," says Andrea, Project Manager From the Columbus Foundation, and explains that "for more than a year we no longer manage travel to patients who have to receive this therapy outside of Spain. Now, almost all communities derive to the centers of Madrid."

Raymond Miralbell, scientific director of the Quirontalud Protonenterapy Center, explains that "from the first moment we have developed a multidisciplinary collaboration in a transversal manner with all Spanish centers dedicated to the treatment of cancer, whether public or private. We have collaborated closely with the public system From the beginning and, today, we have dealt with patients from virtually all autonomous communities. " This expert, who has previously directed the SWISS Proton Users Group, moved to Madrid to run one of the new European reference centers. "The start-up of our center, located in Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid), makes it possible for no longer to leave Spain to receive this therapy."

From the University of Navarra Clinic (CUN), Felipe Calvo, co-director of radiotherapy oncology, explains that "we not only stay in the treatment of patients in tumors that indicate the guides, but we have launched new lines of research." This step offers the vision that this center is committed to research and continue opening new windows of opportunity to patients with "a therapy without side effects, safe and that is directed against the tumor." In addition, this center has also become a reference for the countries of Latin America, "from where many patients come to receive treatment," says Calvo.

Thus, the co-director of Radiotherapic Oncology of CUN explains that "today, in total, we have dealt with 226 patients (165 adults and 61 children), 37 of them from 13 countries such as Canada, Ecuador, Romania, Mexico , Sweden, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Portugal, Arab Emirates, Austria, Colombia and Chile ".

With the pandemic by means, there are still no unified solid follow-up data or reports of the impact of the use and implementation of therapy in our country. Since healing, they explain that "semi-annual follow-up has been carried out since the SNS portfolio and compensation funds with data collected from the communities corresponding to the first semester of 2021, the practice of the autonomies have responded by providing data in terms of Age of the patients, a diagnosis that is requested protonteration, number of sessions, need or not of hospitalization, sanitary derivation center and center that performs it ".

Updated Date: 20 October 2021, 02:41

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