The Masaryk Memorial Cancer Institute
The history of the Masaryk Memorial Cancer Institute goes back to 1928, when the surgeon and senior consultant Dr. Jaroslav Bakeš and his mother founded The House of Consolation Association. The aim of the organization was to improve the care of patients with malignant tumours and, simultaneously, provide facilities for research in this medical field. The primary objective was therefore to build a dedicated institute where cancer patients could be treated and cured while a special emphasis would be placed on research work. Brno was chosen to be the seat of the House of Consolation because of its numerous colleges, flourishing Faculty of Medicine, and various large hospitals. The institute called the Masaryk Sanatorium – House of Consolation was opened on 13th January, 1935.
In the first half of the 1990s, the construction of a new building, designed to meet current needs including outpatient and inpatient wards was begun. The reconstructed old building of the complex was to hold the new radiation oncology ward. In 2001, the Complex Oncologic Treatment Clinics, which unites specialists working in this particular field, was newly founded in the institute. The Clinic consists of general oncology and diagnostic-therapeutic groups for mammary and digestive diseases. It also encompasses other specializations connected to tumour treatment - oncosurgery, radiation therapy and genetics. In February 2007, the Radiation Oncology Clinic was founded and provided with unique technology as well as a number of top specialists and therefore became one of the leading departments of its kind in the Czech Republic. Currently, the Masaryk Memorial Cancer Institute in Brno, is an oncology centre with dominance beyond the region, unique in the Czech Republic. All the medical departments guarantee comprehensive oncology care, which includes preventive care, epidemiology, diagnostics and various modalities of antitumor treatment and rehabilitation. Annually 190 thousand of clients are treated as outpatients and a further 8000 in inpatient wards. Masaryk Memorial has developed a series of unique projects and treatment methods and its specialists put emphasis on the preventive care of tumour diseases.
The new Werner pavilion on Žlutý Kopec makes use of the most recent procedures in treating tumour diseases and in radiotherapy. The Radiation Oncology Clinic is one of only two institutes where children are treated with rays. In 2004, the new linear accelerator was put into service, which permits the automatic adjustment of the shape of the rays according to the irregular shape of the tumour. This method prevents healthy tissues in the vicinity of the tumour being affected and permits an increase of the applied rays on the treated area. The two linear accelerators were supplemented with a third one in January 2006 and thanks to the foundation of an independent department at St. Anne´s Faculty Hospital the Masaryk Memorial Cancer Institute is now equipped with 5 linear accelerators. Since September 2003, The Nuclear Medicine Department has also been equipped with positron emission tomography, which can reveal even the tiniest sources of cancer cells. All of the above mentioned facts go to prove that the Masaryk Memorial Cancer Institute has become a unique medical facility situated within Brno, and reinforce its prestigious status.
PhDr. Zuzana Joukalová, Masaryk Memorial Cancer Institute