First PROTECT patient treated at PARTICLE in UZ Leuven, Belgium

PROTECT is now an active multicenter study, after the first patient has started treatment at the proton therapy center PARTICLE in UZ Leuven, BE.

“We are excited to be a part of the PROTECT study and eager to help investigate the potential benefits of proton therapy for patients with esophageal cancer. Hopefully, new treatments can provide better quality of life for this group of patients who undergoes multimodality treatment and subsequently suffer substantial side effects. Therefore, we are very proud that we were able to treat our first patient within the PROTECT study protocol on Nov 28th. This was only possible thanks to the multi-disciplinary team-effort that was necessary to carefully prepare this study”, said Karin Haustermans, Principle investigator, UZ Leuven, Belgium.

“It is a great milestone for the PROTECT study that we are now enrolling patients in Belgium. Over the next few months, we expect several more sites from around Europe to start recruiting patients, which will push the PROTECT study toward its goal of recruiting 396 patients before 2026”, said Marianne Nordsmark, Chief investigator on the PROTECT Study, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark.



  • PROton versus photon Therapy for Esophageal Cancer – a Trimodality strategy (PROTECT) compares the clinical outcomes of proton therapy and state-of-the-art photon radiotherapy for locally advanced esophageal cancer.
  • PROTECT study is developed by the European Particle Therapy Network (EPTN)
  • A total of 396 patients are expected to be included in the randomized study with completion expected by 2027.
  • This project has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 101008134. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, EFPIA, Varian - a Siemens Healthineers company, and IBA worldwide.
  • PARTICLE received funding from Stand Up against Cancer Flanders for the treatment of their patients.

Further information

  • Twitter: @PROTECT_trial