The Curie Institute (the Institut Curie) is one of many specialist cancer hospitals in France. This charitable foundation particularly stands out for its illustrious alumni (five Nobel prizes have been awarded to individuals linked to the Institute) and its highly-advanced facilities, which include the only proton therapy treatment centre in France, located in one of its three main research sites.
Cancer affects millions each year, with breast cancer being an especially pervasive and distressing example. Breast cancer care in France is a healthcare priority, and the Institut Curie, as a benchmark centre, is well-placed to treat this condition. Treatment success rates have significantly increased thanks in part to fundamental and clinical research carried out by establishments like the Institute. The Institut Curie continues to be a pioneer in this field, having implemented cutting-edge techniques such as mastectomy under hypnosis, instead of the traditional general anaesthetic. In addition, the foundation offers world-class expertise in the area of breast reconstruction.
Breast cancer is just one of the cancers targeted by the Institut Curie, the foremost French cancer institute. Other common cancers, ranging from gastro-intestinal cancers and prostate cancer through to skin cancer and eye tumours, are all tackled by this establishment. Research is carried out by some 14 different units staffed by multi-disciplinary teams composed of chemists, physicists, IT experts and biologists. All such research is ultimately designed to be directly applicable to improving people’s well-being, so the Institut has its own ‘translational research’ department with this specifically in mind. A wide range of techniques are used to treat patients. These include:
- chemotherapy and hormone therapy
- targeted therapies
- protontherapy (radiotherapy by proton beam)
- reconstructive surgery
- The Institut is also committed to spreading the practical results of its research around the world, which it does so by means of its training courses, attended by hundreds each year from scores of different nations.