The Netherlands Cancer Institute (www.nki.nl) was established on October 10, 1913. The founders, Rotgans, professor of Surgery, De Bussy, publisher, and De Vries, professor of Pathology, wanted to create a cancer institute 'where patients suffering from malignant growths could be treated adequately and where cancer and related diseases could be studied'. They bought a house on one of the canals in Amsterdam and named it the 'Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Huis', after the famous Dutch microscopist. The clinic had room for 17 patients, while the laboratory could accommodate 8 to 10 scientists. Nowadays, The Netherlands Cancer Institute accommodates approximately 650 scientists and scientific support personnel, 53 medical specialists, 180 beds, an out-patients clinic that receives 30,600 patients each year, 6 operating theaters and 12 irradiation units. It is the only dedicated cancer center in The Netherlands and maintains an important role as a national and international center of scientific and clinical expertise, development and training.
Department of Radiation Oncology
The Department of Radiation Oncology is housed in a separate wing, which is directly connected with the main building of the hospital. Ten treatment rooms are available housing linear accelerators for patient treatment, while one spare room will continuously be used for installing a new accelerator. One of the treatment rooms is specially assigned for R&D. In 2013 a satellite department was opened in Hoofddorp containing 3 treatment rooms and in the upcoming years, a second satellite department will be build, expanding the total number of treatment rooms to 16. The accelerators are applied for patient treatment with external photon and electron beams. All accelerators are equipped with a multileaf collimator and a megavoltage amorphous-silicon flat panel imager. Most accelerators have also a low-energy X-ray tube and an amorphous-silicon flat panel imager to allow Cone-Beam CT (XVI). Two accelerators are equipped with flattening filter free beams (FFF). For treatment preparation is available: two multi-slice large bore CT scanners, MRI and PET-CT scanners, a 3-D treatment planning system for external beam therapy (Pinnacle), 2 TPS's for brachytherapy (Oncentra, Variseed) and in-house developed software for delineation of treatment structures and matching of multi modality imaging.
The staff consists of radiation oncologists, clinical physicists, radiation technologists and engineers (ITCs / technicians). The department is also a training institute for radiation oncologists, clinical physicists and radiation technologists. Besides this clinical staff, a large group of persons (radiation oncologists, physicists, MDs, ITCs, technicians) work on various research projects.
All curative treatments are performed with IMRT or VMAT techniques and on-line or off-line treatment set-up verification. Pre-treatment dosimetry and in-vivo dosimetry verification is performed with amorphous-silicon flat panel imagers (EPID Dosimetry). Many research projects are focused on image guided Radiotherapy (IGRT). Furthermore the department is participating in the consortium for the MRI-Linac, which is in development in the UMC Utrecht.
For all kind of dosimetry measurements and quality control of the radiation beams a large number of PTW products are applied (e.g UNIDOS E, UNIDOSWebline, OCTAVIUS Phantom, 2x STARCHECK, 3x STARCHECKMAXI, 3x MP3 water phantoms, large set of detectors, SLA48, etc). New PTW products will be tested and applied for dosimetry measurements, verification of IMRT/VMAT/FFF treatment techniques and quality control of the treatment machines to meet the high standard of accuracy, necessary for the multi-segmented IMRT and VMAT treatments.