「Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital starts Proton Therapy(Introduction of Fast Scanning Layer Switching technology) 」

February 05, 2019

Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital starts Proton Therapy
(Introduction of Fast Scanning Layer Switching technology)

Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd. (President and CEO: Shunsuke Betsukawa; hereinafter referred to as “SHI”) today announces that Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (hereinafter referred to as “KCGMH”), which is one of the branch in Chang Gung Hospital Group which is the largest private hospital group in Taiwan has commenced proton therapy*1 and the opening ceremony was held on October 29, 2018. KCGMH is the 2nd facility for Proton Therapy system in Taiwan followed by the 1st system installed at Linkou Chang Gung Memorial hospital (“Linkou CGMH”) by Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd.

The new proton therapy facility is equipped with cyclotron*2, which generates continuous and high intensity proton beam, and three rotating gantries. The facility has a provisional room that makes it possible to add the fourth treatment room with a rotating gantry in the future. A Gantry treatment room is equipped with easy and accurate patient positioning with the combination of 6-Axis Robotic Couch and X-Ray DR System (incl. Cone Beam CT) as well as “On-line Positron Emission Monitor System”, which can visualize irradiated field by detecting a pair of 511 keV gamma rays from positron nuclides emitted from human body.

The advanced Pencil Beam Scanning (“PBS”) delivers narrow proton beams to the targeted cancer tissue conforming to the shape of tumor and enables complex tumors to be irradiated precisely, while concentrating high dose and minimizing side effects for surrounding healthy tissues. In comparison with the broad beam irradiation*3, preparation prior to treatment is easier and the consumable cost for patient’s specific compensators and collimators can be reduced by PBS. Line scanning technology (“Line Scanning”), which is one of the PBS technologies, irradiates proton beams continuously in stable beam current for each layer with change of scanning speed. Irradiation time by Line Scanning is shorter than that by spot scanning*4 which irradiates proton beams intermittently. Since the world’s first patient treatment with Line Scanning was started in National Cancer Center Hospital East (Kashiwa, Japan) in October, 2015, the number of treatment continued to increase and reached approximately 2,000 patients are treated in 5 facilities all supplied by SHI.

Another new technology, which is Fast Scanning Layer Switching (“FLS”) is introduced to the system in KCGMH for the first time. This new technology enable the system to decrease 80% of layer switching time compare with the original system, and lighten the burden of patients. We expect to apply FLS technology to the treatment for moving organs such as lung and liver in the future.

Eng-Yen Huang, M.D., Ph.D. Director, Department of Radiation Oncology comments:
“Proton therapy is a state of the art radiation therapy which may increase the cure rate while minimizing the normal tissue toxicity and clinical effectiveness and expansion of diseases sites for proton therapy has been reported all over the world. We feel not only proud to be the 2nd hospital to provide the treatment in Taiwan, but also responsibility to provide the high level service to the patients who is suffering from the disease from all over the world. In addition, KCGMH will continue the research and development to contribute the development of new technology in proton therapy in collaboration with SHI.”

Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (“CGMH“) is the largest hospital group (8 hospitals: 7,500 beds in total) operated under Formosa Plastics group which is the largest private company in Taiwan. CGMH Linkou, one of the major hospital in CGMH group, has installed the 1st proton therapy system in Taiwan from SHI. Since the treatment started in November 2015, more than 1,500 patients had been treated with this system. KCGMH is the one of the major hospital in Kaohsiung which is the largest city in Southern part of Taiwan. KCGMH provides best medical care based on the patient focused concept with the excellent medical staffs as well as the state of the art medical infrastructure and promotes global treatments, research and education.

About SHI
SHI has been continuing the research and development for medical use with accelerators, such as cyclotron, for over 40 years. In 1997, SHI delivered the first proton therapy system to National Cancer Center Hospital East in Japan, which was the first hospital-based proton therapy facility in Japan and the second in the world. The facility has kept stable operation over 20 years. Since then, SHI proton therapy systems were delivered to seven facilities in Japan, Taiwan and Korea. SHI will contribute towards the wide use of proton therapy for cancer treatment around the world in collaboration with our customers.

  • 1 Proton Therapy
Proton therapy is one of the promising therapeutic methods against cancer. 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 makes this radiation very effective for the targeted irradiation of the tumor with lower side effects to surrounding healthy tissues. Unlike surgical procedures, this is a gentle and noninvasive treatment that allows patients to be treated as outpatients and for this reason it is attracting attention around the world. Proton therapy is reported to be adopted for the treatment of cancer in head/neck, lung, liver, esophagus, prostate, etc. from existing facilities in the world.

  • 2 Cyclotron
Cyclotron is one of circular accelerators and generate protons, accelerating hydrogen nuclei up to 60 % of the speed of light. The cyclotron enables shorter treatment time and hypo-fractionation with high dose rate, and provides continuous beams which are preferable for Line Scanning and respiratory gated irradiation for moving target such as lung, liver, etc.

  • 3 Broad beam irradiation
Broad beam irradiation is conventional technique of proton therapy. Uniform proton beams are irradiated by molding to the shape of the target tumor by the patient specific collimator and compensator.

  • 4 Spot scanning
Spot scanning is one the PBS techniques. Target tumor is divided to a few thousand micro regions and is irradiated homogeneously with small spot beams from the deepest one by changing the position.