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Rapid advancement of medical technology in recent years has made it possible to treat patients suffering from difficult-to-treat conditions. Meanwhile, the number of cancer patients is expected to grow worldwide, due to increasingly unhealthy lifestyles, etc. Innovation in cancer treatment has become a critical issue around the world to protect people's health and well-being.
Cancer has become a leading cause of death, especially in developed countries. The fight against cancer is now a global issue. Recognizing that healthcare is an essential part of social infrastructure to support human life in the 21st century, Hitachi strives to provide optimal healthcare at every stage of life and in every medical field. Hitachi continues to help advance the science of cancer care to preserve patients' quality of life (QOL).
The proton accelerator produces a high-energy beam to irradiate tumors.
Hitachi Proton Beam Therapy System is just one example in which Hitachi group companies have worked together to combine advanced technologies in accelerators, irradiation, and control systems that they have developed over the years.
Proton beam therapy is a more patient friendly cancer treatment when compared to conventional radiation therapy. It precisely targets tumors, minimizing the damage to surrounding healthy tissue. In 2001, Hitachi delivered its first proton beam therapy system to the Proton Medical Application Research Center at the University of Tsukuba in Japan.
In 2006, one of the world's leading cancer treatment centers, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas in the U.S., began treating patients using Hitachi Proton Beam Therapy System. The center has treated more than 7,000 (as of June, 2016) patients over the past ten years to high acclaim.
MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, U.S.
Rotating gantry treatment room where patients receive proton beam therapy.
A screen displaying operational status of the proton beam therapy system.
Hitachi has also developed spot scanning irradiation technology that can accurately target tumors that have complex shape and structure and apply high-energy proton beams to them. In 2008, it was used clinically for the first time in the U.S. by the MD Anderson Cancer Center. This technology can provide effective yet safer treatment to patients by minimizing unnecessary irradiation. Proton beam therapies utilizing Hitachi's spot scanning irradiation technology have also been increasing in Japan, starting with the Nagoya Proton Therapy Center.
Hitachi, together with Hokkaido University, developed an advanced proton beam therapy system. The new system combines the advantages of Hitachi’s spot scanning irradiation technology with Hokkaido University’s real-time tumor tracking technology developed from their extensive experience in X-ray treatment. The new system is capable of targeting and applying high dose proton beams to tumors that move due to a patient's respiration during treatment. This breakthrough is expected to give rise to new, highly effective cancer treatments while preserving patients' QOL.
Hitachi's achievements in proton beam therapy continues to gain attention and high acclaim around the world.
As a result, three new Hitachi-equipped facilities are now treating patients in the U.S., with one currently under construction. New facilities in Asia such as Hong Kong and Singapore are also already in progress.
Hitachi continually strives to create a healthier and safer society through the development of technologies for social innovation, such as proton beam therapy systems.
The Proton Beam Therapy Center at Hokkaido University. A new advanced proton beam therapy system was developed with Hitachi.
The Hitachi proton beam therapy system installed at a new facility in the U.S. began treating patients in June 2015.
Hitachi will supply the proton beam therapy system at the National Cancer Centre in Singapore. (Picture for reference only)