At the Radiation Oncology Department, our goals are to help improve all aspects related to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, teaching and research of cancer. We are a central plank in organising care for patients with cancer, especially with regard to radiation oncology. Working in multidisciplinary teams helps improve the healing rates of our patients, and makes us a reference department across Spain.
We have the most advanced technology in Europe. Techniques such as image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) and intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) mean we can provide more precise treatments by adapting the dose to the shape of the tumour to better protect healthy tissue.
These advances are especially relevant for paediatric radiation therapy, since precision strategies are even more important in children. We treat 80% of children in Catalonia, as well as handling complex cases from elsewhere in Spain.
Technological development has allowed us to improve the whole process of planning and treatment using radiation.
The Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy Programme (IMRT) and the Stereotactic Radiosurgery/Radiotherapy Programme (SRS) were both started at the Hospital's Radiation Oncology Department in 2008. Initially, IMRT was used to treat prostate tumours, and later for the treatment of cancer of the breast, head and neck, and paediatric tumours. It is now also used in gynaecological and digestive tumours, and we are able to apply it in all cases where it might represent a significant improvement in treatment.
We are the centre that performs most treatments using intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) in Catalonia for genitourinary pathologies, tumours in the head, neck and breast neoplasias, where advanced technology has been fully integrated to improve care.
Our dedication to offering quality and safety in care has made us pioneers, as we have established various internal control committees, as well as developing our own protocols for image guided radiation therapy (IGRT). We are a young, dynamic team that is part of a range of scientific organisations, both nationally and internationally.
The Vall d’Hebron University Hospital Radiation Oncology Department treats 2,000 adult and paediatric patients a year. The Head of Department, Dr. Jordi Giralt, explains that the secret to why Vall d’Hebron continues to be a leading centre its multidisciplinary work.
The former head of the Thoracic Surgery Department, Dr. Mercè Canela, recently retired, recalls the important evolution of the Department to become a leader in Spain and a lung transplant pioneer. A task made possible thanks to collaboration with professionals from other departments, an added value in the personal and team environment.
Rosalia Moure arrived at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital in 1967. She spent her entire working life in the linen and laundry department of the Hospital. Rosalia Moure has witnessed the Hospital’s big transformations, from dictatorship to democracy and from analogue to digital systems.
Dr. Josep Sánchez de Toledo Codina, head of the Paediatric Haematology and Oncology Department, tells us about a Department that has laid the foundations for the specialism in Spain. He also remembers the evolution of transplants from haematopoietic stem cells and progenitors, from the beginning, buying the material at a shop in Barcelona city centre, to the more than 1,200 transplants that have now been performed.
Dr. Francesc Bosch, Head of the Haematology Department, talks about the complexity of the Department, which has turned Vall d’Hebron into a reference centre in haematology thanks to its commitment to transplants and the use of new treatments. The Clinical Trials Unit helps a lot, giving access to treatments for complex patients.
The Master's Degree in Biomedical and Translational Research is an official programme created to train researchers with the requisite combination of scientific knowledge and skills to contribute to the future success of biomedical research.
Fermín Fernández Álvarez, Porter Coordinator, explains the importance of the role these professionals play in the hospital. After 36 years at Vall d’Hebron, Fermín is a real master of the ways things are done. He says that a porter has to combine humility, discretion and safety with a single goal: that patients receive human and friendly treatment.
The constant search for excellence is part of Hospital Vall d’Hebron’s nature. The biggest hospital in Catalonia and the leader in many fields, headed since February 2015 by Dr. Vicenç Martínez Ibáñez, who has a close personal and professional relationship with the Hospital. Dr. Martínez Ibáñez says that if Vall d’Hebron did not exist, it would need to be invented. The current director trained at the hospital, where he was one of the protagonists of an historic moment: the first paediatric liver transplant in Spain. Now, he is committed to continuing this legacy and, always putting the patient first, achieving excellence across all staff.