The Greater Poland Cancer Center or Wielkopolskie Centrum Onkologii (WCO) established in 1953 is one of the largest comprehensive cancer centers in Poland and one of nine Polish reference centers for radiotherapy. The center occupies several buildings, and the oldest of them dates back to the mid-19th century (historical building) and the youngest to 2009. All buildings are modernized and satisfy West-European standards.
The WCO has nine hospital wards (incl. radiotherapy, surgery, medical oncology, ENT, gynecology and brachytherapy) and provides services in all aspects of cancer treatment. It has many years of experience in collaborating with universities and research institutes as well as in teaching students of medicine, biotechnology, radiobiology, radiation oncology, public health, etc. More than 11,000 patients are hospitalized per year, more than 5,000 thousand receive external beam radiotherapy and over 1,300 brachytherapy. The WCO center has three radiotherapy departments and is a famous center of treatment with the use of the radiotherapy and brachytherapy method, through application of modern ionization radiation technologies for medical purposes. Currently, the center has at its disposal 8 state-of-the-art irradiation accelerators, including Poland’s only apparatus for tomotherapy.
The modern brachytherapy facilities of the hospital offer the full range of modern image-guided HDR brachytherapy. The brachytherapy department is equipped with 2 HDR and 1 PDR afterloader and all imaging modalities are used for brachytherapy including X-ray, CT, US and MRI for gynecology.
Four radiation oncologists, 1 gynecologist, 4 physicists, 2 technologists, and 12 nurses are fully dedicated to brachytherapy and treat over 1000 patients per year with HDR and PDR brachytherapy. The main indications for brachytherapy treatment are breast, lung, gynecological and prostate cancer, but also other indications like esophagus, ano-rectal, skin and H&N cancer are treated with brachytherapy.
Professor Janusz Skowronek is the head of the Brachytherapy department and an internationally renowned presenter at international meetings and conferences. He has published in several national and international peer-reviewed journals and is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Contemporary Brachytherapy. He is involved as chair and teacher in many educational programs and workshops, including the BrachyAcademy Euro-Asian Breast Brachytherapy School.
The hospital has a Didactic and Conference Centre with modern training facilities to train students of the Poznań University of Medical Sciences and other universities. As part of the BrachyAcademy, the Greater Poland Cancer Center is a designated Educational Center for HDR brachytherapy with a focus on lung, oesophagus, bile duct cancer. Training visits to the hospital are organized for clinicians, physicists and nurses from all over the world, to enable them to observe clinical workflows and daily practices at first hand.
Janusz Skowronek: Journal of Contemporary Brachytherapy