August 18, 2010
Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd. ("SHI") received an order from Aizawa Hospital in Matsumoto, Japan for the world's first vertically arranged compact proton therapy system. It is expected that the treatment will start in 2013.
The new proton therapy system is designed in a vertical arrangement with a compact type rotating gantry and a 230MeV cyclotron. This configuration enables significant space saving for the facility, which can be installed in the very limited space.
SHI delivered the first proton therapy system in 1997 to National Cancer Center Hospital East ("NCCH"), which was the first hospital-based proton therapy facility in Japan. Since then, SHI has received two orders in the global market, and this order from Aizawa Hospital is the fourth order. SHI will continue the utmost efforts for the development of cancer treatment by supplying the state of the art equipment to the customer and contribute to fight against cancer through the cutting-edge technologies.
About Aizawa Hospital
Aizawa Hospital (496 beds) is a private hospital located in Matsumoto, Nagano Pref. ,Japan, which has over 100 years history, and has been designated as a regional cancer treatment center and regional medical support facility, providing acute medical service as a regional core hospital. Furthermore, the hospital's aspiration and innovative activities for providing patients with the latest and highest quality medical care is drawing a lot of attention.
(Web Site: http://www.ai-hosp.or.jp/english/index.html)
SHI is a manufacturing company for various machineries among Sumitomo Business Group which is one of the biggest business group in Japan founded in 1590. SHI has been contributing to development of accelerators for over 40 years. With cooperation and assistance by many customers pursuing the most advanced research and technologies, SHI has developed and provided many kinds of accelerators for a physics research, an industrial use, and a medical application (PET radio-tracer production system, heavy ion therapy system, and proton therapy system).
1. Features of Proton Therapy
One of the promising therapeutic methods against cancer is proton therapy. A proton beam is obtained by accelerating the proton, the atomic nucleus of hydrogen, to high energy level. One of the features of proton therapy is the optimal dose distribution in the human body. Proton beam's Bragg Peak*1 makes this radiation very effective for the targeted irradiation of the tumor with lower side effect to surrounding healthy tissues.
*Note 1: Bragg Peak
Bragg Peak is a physical characteristic specifically available in a charged particle such as proton and not available in x-rays, which are used for conventional photon radiotherapy. The proton enters the body with a relatively low dose and deposits energy at a predetermined depth and then vanishes at the depth.
2. Proton Therapy System
The proton is accelerated to 230MeV*2 by using Cyclotron. Cyclotron enables a short treatment time with high dose rate and provides a continuous beam which is preferable for respiration gating irradiation because the beam can be delivered to a patient at any possible time.
[Beam Transport System]
The proton accelerated by Cyclotron is adjusted to the energy amounts planned for each patient and transported through Beam Transport System to Gantry Treatment System.
[Gantry Treatment System]
The targeted tumor can be irradiated from 360 degree angle range by using a rotating gantry without uncomfortable postures for each patient. Gantry Treatment System is equipped with a rotating gantry, an irradiation nozzle, an X-ray digital radiography system, and a treatment couch. The proton beam passing out of the rotating gantry is formed by the irradiation nozzle in shapes corresponding to the tumor.