Uniting for Innovation: The HITRIplus Transnational Clinical Access Program

December 21, 2023

In the spirit of collaboration, knowledge exchange and free-of-charge access to the best European research infrastructures, the HITRIplus project has been pioneering a transformative initiative: the Transnational Clinical Access program, a cornerstone in fostering international cooperation and sharing valuable expertise in the field of carbon ion treatments.

Over the past months, Fondazione CNAO welcomed five groups of researchers from across Europe and one from Brazil to its facility, providing them with a firsthand experience of the cutting-edge cancer treatments offered, with a special focus on carbon ion therapies. This immersive experience has garnered enthusiastic responses from participants.

The program inspired Dr. Renata Zhau, a radiation oncologist from Romania, who returned home armed with precious insights. In a country where heavy particles are not readily available, Dr. Zhau recognized the potential impact of this experience. This newfound knowledge will undoubtedly guide her in identifying patients who may benefit most from carbon ion treatments, enhancing both her expertise and patient outcomes.

For Dr. Ghizela Ana M. Sălăgean, a medical physicist from Romania, the three-day opportunity at CNAO proved to be of immeasurable value. The expertise transferred by the CNAO team, particularly in the realm of treatment planning, has enriched her understanding and skill set. Dr. Ghinzela’s experience underscores the tangible benefits that transnational clinical access can bring to medical professionals seeking to elevate their practice.

Dr. Erika Korobeinikova, a radiation oncologist from the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, emphasized the broader impact of this program on regional healthcare. As the Baltic countries explore the implementation of a new heavy ion facility, the knowledge acquired during the transnational access to Fondazione CNAO became pivotal. Erika envisioned continued collaboration, leveraging shared expertise to shape the future of healthcare in the Baltic region.

Adding to these stories of international collaboration, Maria Topalidou, Director of Radiotherapy from G. H. Papageorgiou in Thessaloniki, shares her inspiring visit to the Italian National Center for Oncological Hadron Therapy in Pavia. Engaging with the passionate team and learning about their cutting-edge protocols and treatment plans has significantly broadened her expertise. She expresses deep gratitude for the insights gained, which will enhance her practice and patient care.

The HITRIplus project is proud to be a catalyst for positive change, bridging gaps, and fostering connections in the international medical community. As we reflect on these success stories, we look forward to a future marked by continued collaboration, shared learning, and advancements that benefit patients worldwide.

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