07 February 2022

The Japanese company Hitachi, Ltd. announced the start of treatment of patients at the Center for advanced Medical Technologies Shonan Kamakura Advanced Medical Center, where a compact proton therapy system manufactured by Hitachi was installed. The first patients were treated at this facility on January 31, 2022. This is the first order from Hitachi for the supply of a specialized compact proton therapy system.

The Shonan Kamakura Advanced Medical Center is an emedical institution providing comprehensive cancer treatment services, including modern radiation therapy. The center was built next to the Shonan Kamakura General Hospital by Tokushukai Group Medical Corporation, which includes approximately 400 medical institutions and nursing homes throughout Japan. Until now, there were no proton therapy centers in Kanagawa Prefecture, where the medical center is located, but the compact Hitachi system, which takes up less space, now allows you to install proton equipment in a limited space near the city center.

In response to the growing worldwide demand for smaller proton beam therapy systems, Hitachi has developed its own installation specifically designed to work with a single treatment room. The system is a compact installation that, by optimizing the layout of the equipment, takes up 70% less space than in existing proton centers, which allows you to install Hitachi in an ordinary city hospital, and also reduces installation costs and time. The system is equipped with pencil beam scanning technology, which allows you to control the movement of the proton beam in exact accordance with the shape of the tumor. It includes a 360-degree rotating gantry with cone-beam computed tomography for high-precision positioning, as well as a real-time imaging function Real-time image Gated Proton Therapy (RGPT)

Cone-beam CT allows to obtain three-dimensional anatomical images of patients in the isocenter immediately before treatment. Information about the location of bones is taken from traditional orthogonal X-rays, and the movement of tumors is tracked using RGPT. Then these data are combined, which makes it possible to identify healthy tissues surrounding the tumor, especially the location and shape of soft tissues, using cone-beam CT.

RGPT allows you to control the process of irradiation of the tumor with a proton beam in real time, compensating for the movement of the tumor associated with the patient's breathing. This technology was developed jointly by Hokkaido University and Hitachi with the support of the Funding Program of the world's leading innovative research and development in science and technology (FIRST) of the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science.

Hitachi is making great efforts to accelerate the global development of nuclear particle therapy technologies and improve cancer treatment methods worldwide, and is constantly working to expand its medical services.

Nuclear particle therapy is an advanced type of radiation therapy for cancer. Protons extracted from hydrogen atoms or carbon ions accelerate to 70% of the speed of light. This energy is delivered directly to the tumor, minimizing the radiation dose that falls on the surrounding healthy tissues. This type of radiation therapy improves the quality of life of cancer patients, because patients do not experience pain during treatment, and the procedure has very few side effects compared to traditional radiation therapy. In most cases, patients can continue their normal life during treatment.

The original news can be read here

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