Yamagata University Hospital Treats First Patients with Carbon Ion Therapy

By News Release


A new carbon ion therapy center at Yamagata University Hospital in Northern Japan, that just opened this year has treated its first patients. The first treatment – a prostate cancer case treated in the horizontal fixed beam treatment room – was successfully carried out on February 25. The number of cases has steadily increased, and 12 prostate cancer patients had started treatment by March 18. In the next few months, treatments will commence for other tumor sites, using the rotating gantry port. The center is using the RayStation treatment planning system in combination with Toshiba's treatment delivery system.

Carbon ion therapy is an advanced form of radiation therapy that targets cancer cells with high precision and favorable dose distribution compared to photon and proton beams, providing a higher tumor control probability while minimizing the dose for the surrounding normal tissues. Yamagata is the first carbon ion therapy center in Japan to use Ray Station, and the first facility in the world to be directly accessible from a general hospital. Since the center can use the hospital's facilities and infrastructure, it can provide carbon ion therapy safely and smoothly for very elderly patients and patients with pre-existing conditions that were previously challenging to treat.

Yamagata University Hospital and Toshiba jointly selected RayStation, which features carbon pencil beam scanning with robust biological optimization using the microdosimetric kinetic model [MKM). Yamagata is the first center to use MKM clinically with RayStation. Other functionality includes deformable registration, dose tracking and adaptive therapy.

Dr. Takayuki Kanai, medical physicist says, "The commissioning process involves many time­ consuming tasks, such as creating OA plans and verifying dose distributions. The sophisticated scripting capability and fast dose calculation of RayStation have greatly helped us to achieve these tasks. RayStation is also providing us a very smooth clinical workflow, since many functionalities, such as contour delineation, dose calculation, deformable registration, and robust optimization, are integrated in a single platform, that is difficult to realize with other treatment planning systems in carbon ion therapy."

Johan Löf, CEO of RaySearch, says: "We are very pleased to see the first treatments with MKM in RayStation taking place at this highly advanced center. Cutting-edge techniques such as carbon ion therapy offer excellent potential for hard-to-treat cancers, and we look forward to supporting Yamagata University Hospital in bringing the benefits to many more patients."