MedAustron offers numerous opportunities for research, ranging from basic to translational and applied research. Radiation oncology, medical radiation physics, and radiation biology are closely linked. This inter-disciplinary research will result in a significant increase in tumor control and survival rates using a biologically individualized, technologically optimized radiation therapy.
Almost all patients will be treated within the framework of clinical studies at MedAustron. New scientific and technological knowledge will be incorporated in treatment concepts immediately. The clinical research’s primary goal is to make clear medical statements about the benefits of ion beam therapy for specific indications and to compare the effectiveness of protons and carbon ions.
An additional key indicator of the treatment success and the patient safety is the patient’s quality of life during and after the treatment with ion therapy. The health-oriented quality of life of oncological patients is a crucial new parameter in evaluating the effectiveness of treatment in the long-term, and allows proving how reducing the radiation exposure of healthy tissue has a long-lasting positive impact on the patient.
Patients that are treated for tumors of the head are additionally monitored for neurocognitive performance before and long after their treatment. This allows verifying the positive impact of the reduction of irradiation of healthy brain tissue. If neurocognitive functions can be maintained, the patient can remain in their familiar environment, which is especially important for pediatric and young adult patients. New scientific and technological evidence can then directly be taken to the treatment concepts.