The PROTECT-trial consortium enrolls first patient into proton therapy study

Proton therapy

Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, September 1, 2022IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A., EURONEXT), the world leader in particle accelerator technology, today announces that the PROTECT-trial consortium has enrolled the first patient in the PROTECT-trial investigating proton therapy in esophageal cancer.

The PROTECT (PROton versus photon Therapy for Esophageal Cancer – a Trimodality strategy) trial is a large-scale, multi-institutional, randomized controlled clinical trial, comparing the clinical outcomes of proton therapy and state-of-the-art photon radiotherapy for locally advanced esophageal cancer, with the goal of improving outcomes for this group of patients. The trial was developed by the European Particle Therapy Network (EPTN). IBA is one of two leading industry collaborators involved in the trial.

A total of 396 patients will be included in the randomized study with completion expected by 2027. A key objective of the PROTECT-trial is to reduce treatment related side effects and improve quality of life for the patients suffering from esophageal cancer. In addition, an important aspect of the study is to improve patient selection for proton therapy by evaluating existing selection criteria and creating shared guidelines for reimbursement.

The PROTECT-trial consortium is a private-public collaborative project that includes 12 proton therapy centers, 17 academic partners, and more than 30 clinical trial sites across eight countries.

Dr. Karin Haustermans, Co-chief Investigator and Medical Director of the Proton Therapy Center ParTICLe at UZ Leuven, Belgium, commented: “The PROTECT study will gather data on the benefits of proton therapy from multiple centers across Europe, for the first time. This sets the direction for the future use of proton therapy and could provide meaningful evidence for the benefits of proton therapy, which is needed to expand its use and identify the patients that benefit the most from treatment with protons.”


Olivier Legrain, Chief Executive Officer of IBA, added: “We are pleased to see the PROTECT-trial consortium reaching its first significant milestone of starting patient recruitment. At IBA we are truly passionate about the benefits proton therapy can provide patients living with cancer, including reducing the side effects of treatment as well as improving quality of life whilst they receive it. We are very proud to be involved with the consortium and look forward to seeing the results of this study which we hope will produce high-quality clinical evidence on the advantages of proton therapy.”


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About IBA

IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A.) is the world leader in particle accelerator technology. The company is the leading supplier of equipment and services in the field of proton therapy, considered to be the most advanced form of radiation therapy available today. IBA is also a leading player in the fields of industrial sterilization, radiopharmaceuticals and dosimetry. The company, based in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, employs approximately 1,600 people worldwide. IBA is a certified B Corporation (B Corp) meeting the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance.


IBA is listed on the pan-European stock exchange EURONEXT (IBA: Reuters IBAB.BR and Bloomberg IBAB.BB).


More information can be found at:



For further information about the PROTECT-trial Consortium, please contact:

Further information about PROTECT-trial Consortium

  • Dr. Karin Haustermans, Co-chief Investigator, UZ Leuven, Belgium
  • Website:
  • Twitter: @PROTECT_trial



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