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Particle Therapy is a cancer treatment that focuses a beam of either protons—which form the nucleus of the hydrogen atom—or carbon ions directly onto the treatment site to destroy or eradicate cancerous cells. Compared to other treatments, this therapy imposes relatively less stress on the patient's body, a capability that has put Particle Therapy in the spotlight. Hitachi developed a proton-based Particle Therapy system that it supplies to medical facilities domestically and around the world. Hitachi will continue developing this system so that it can help improve patient quality of life (QoL).
Cancer treatments can be broadly divided into three categories: surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, with radiotherapy drawing significant interest as a less-invasive means of treatment. Particle Therapy is a type of radiotherapy. Its beam speed can be adjusted for the depth of the treatment site, giving it the ability to deliver a concentrated dose of radiation to the cancer.
Various forms of radiotherapy and an image of Particle Therapy treatment
Hitachi's Spot Scanning Radiotherapy
The proton-based Particle Therapy system that Hitachi developed jointly with Hokkaido University Hospital brings together tumor-tracking and spot-scanning radiotherapy technologies. This combination makes it possible to deliver a concentrated beam that matches the shape of the treatment site even as the site moves due to breathing or other bodily functions. Its ability to tightly focus a beam on the treatment site is also responsible for reducing treatment-induced stress to the body, allowing patients the opportunity to undergo treatment on an outpatient basis while continuing to work and carry out their daily lives.
Click here for an overview of Hitachi's Particle Therapy system, the thoughts of its developers, and other details.