Institut Català d’Oncologia (I.C.O)

Institut Català d’Oncologia (ICO) at Hospitalet (Barcelona) is the largest Cancer Center in Catalonia. It is internationally recognized for its cancer treatment and research on different areas: Medical Oncology (Phase I and II trials), Immunotherapy, Virus therapy, Genetic Counseling, Radiotherapy with all the techniques: Adaptive RT, Radiosurgery, Extracranial SBRT.

Brachy expertise

ICO introduced brachytherapy in 1989 with LDR: With 192-Iridium wires they treated many head & neck patients, all breast boosts (metallic needles, plastic tubes), penis and skin. They treated cervix and endometrial cancers with Cs-137. In 1998 they introduced I-125 seeds for prostate and HDR brachytherapy, and since 2003 they could treat patients with PDR. Currently ICO uses 4 afterloaders (2 Flexitron and 2 PDR).

At the ICO they treat many body sites with brachytherapy: breast (monotherapy, salvage), gynecological (IC/IS with Venezia and MUPIT), prostate (boost, monotherapy, salvage), sarcoma, skin, head & neck, ophthalmic brachytherapy for ocular melanoma, endoluminal BT (bronchus, esophagus). They are very active in the GEC-ESTRO groups: Breast (participated in Phase II European randomized trial, vAPBI); Gynecological (EMBRACE), Skin, Prostate.

The center has a big Brachytherapy Unit with 8 beds and 4 more places to stay during the day; 2 operating theatres, 1 ImagingRing, and a dedicated brachy team with 4 radiation oncologists, 1 anesthesiologist, and physicists. Around 700 patients receive brachytherapy treatment in a yea. The brachy team at the ICO performs 4-5 procedures daily from Monday to Thursday.

Educational activities

Since 2000 the Brachytherapy Unit is a designated global educational center for all the brachytherapy techniques described above, with a special focus on Breast, Eye, Prostate, Gyn, H&N, and Skin brachytherapy.

Observational visits to the Brachytherapy Unit (duration 1-4 days) are organized for people wishing to learn more about all these procedures, so they can observe clinical workflows and daily practices at first hand.

ICO organized several workshops dedicated to APBI and Gynecological brachytherapy.


Dr. Cristina Gutiérrez: ‘APBI and the advantages of Brachytherapy’

Ferran Guedea: ‘Views on Brachytherapy’


Upcoming Programs

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  • This is a BrachyAcademy educational centre for: Breast, Gynecology, Head & Neck, Oesophagus, Prostate, Skin
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    Institut Català d’Oncologia (I.C.O)
    Avinguda de la Granvia de l’Hospitalet, 199-203