Philip Poortmans

Philip Poortmans

Three questions for Philip Poortmans

Julia Vollerin
Prof. Philip Poortmans, Head of the Department of Oncological Radiotherapy at Institut Curie, discusses the latest in radiotherapy innovation.

What role does radiotherapy currently play in the treatment of cancer?

In France, almost 50% of all tumors are treated using radiotherapy. This isn’t good enough because, for example, the surgery option too often comes out on top, without sufficient discussion of different options with patients, even with some cancers where this shouldn’t be the case, such as certain stages of prostate cancer. According to international guidelines, in developed countries, 52 to 55% of cancer patients should receive radiotherapy.


Why does Institut Curie play such a key role in research in this field?

Institut Curie is considered to be the birthplace of radiotherapy because the treatment developed from the discoveries of Marie Curie, who was convinced from the very beginning—along with doctor Claudius Regaud—that it could cure cancer. Institut Curie has been involved in the progression of radiotherapy ever since. We have very strong links between basic research and clinical research, which results in an integrated approach to developing innovations. We also have a wealth of human resources, with around 1200 people at the Research Center, 2100 across the Hospital Group, and over 50,000 patients: considerable capacity for research!


You were recently awarded the professorship in oncological radiotherapy from Paris Sciences & Lettres University. What is this?

Institut Curie wants to increase its involvement with universities in the field of oncological radiotherapy. The aim is to teach as many doctors, physicists, dosimetrists, and radiographers as possible the latest knowledge and innovations in the field.

copyright: Uriel Chantraine / Institut Curie