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Demystifying carbon ion therapy

por John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | October 07, 2020
Rad Oncology
From the October 2020 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

He also notes that insurance companies are hesitant to cover patients in need of traveling overseas for this treatment. “There is no insurance in the U.S. that will allow patients to be referred outside the country for the most optimal treatment. No one is talking about big numbers here. We’re only talking about doing the right thing for some selected patients. I’m really saddened that the U.S. healthcare system is set up to have very little flexibility to do the right thing for the individual patient.”

Dr. Eugen Hug
Despite these challenges, Hug believes carbon ion therapy will grow in the same way proton therapy did. This includes not just in the number of centers available but drops in both the size of facilities and pricing for treatment.

“Once we are able to take the pricing out of the equation then I think there is little doubt that carbon ion and proton therapies are the most effective treatments out there. When you do carbon ion therapy safely, you can truly do it with minimal side effects. A more widespread use requires more clinical trials with collaboration of more of the carbon ion centers to basically cement that evidence. Will carbon ions have an added clinical advantage for these very difficult to treat tumors? I think for some of those, we can already now confirm, yes, it does already have a significant advantage.”

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