Russia’s first dedicated proton therapy treatment center achieved a major milestone this week with the installation of the cyclotron by equipment supplier Varian Medical Systems. The installation, a key milestone for each new proton therapy center, involved the cyclotron being lifted into position by cranes in a procedure that was watched by local government officials including the governor of St. Petersburg.
The cyclotron, a particle accelerator which accelerates protons to two thirds of the speed of light for clinical use, is a core piece of equipment of Varian’s ProBeam® system, which is equipping the two-room PTC St. Petersburg Center of Nuclear Medicine of the International Institute of Biological Systems. Patient treatments are expected to start at the new facility late next year. Clinicians at the center expect to treat around 1,000 patients each year.
„We’re very pleased to be able to bring Varian’s cutting edge, clinically advanced and reliable technology to patients and the cyclotron installation is the first major milestone in equipping the center,“ said Dr. A
rkadi Stolpner, chairman of the International Institute of Biological Systems Diagnostic and Treatment Center. „Around half a million new cases of cancer are diagnosed annually in the Russian Federation and our aim in installing the Varian ProBeam system is to help us meet our mission of saving lives.“
„We are honored to be a part of a very important project that will help to make the most advanced proton therapy available to the people of Russia,“ said
Moataz Karmalawy, general manager of Varian’s Particle Therapy division. „The ProBeam system combines Varian’s unmatched technology for intensity modulated proton therapy with advanced imaging, treatment planning, and information management capabilities that have been developed on the basis of decades of experience in radiation oncology. This cyclotron installation is another exciting step forward for proton therapy.“
Proton therapy makes it possible to treat certain types of cancer more precisely and with potentially fewer side effects than is possible with conventional radiation therapy. With proton therapy, the risk of damage to healthy tissues and potential side effects is reduced because the beam is designed to stop and deposit dose within the tumor site rather than passing all the way through the patient. Proton therapy can be used for many of the most common types of cancer.
Varian’s ProBeam technology is being used to treat patients at the Scripps Proton Therapy Center in San Diego, the Maryland Proton Therapy Center in Baltimore, the Rinecker Proton Therapy Center in Munich, and at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland. Varian also has contracts for system installations at ten other sites around the world. Varian’s ProBeam system with Dynamic Peak™ Scanning is uniquely capable of high-speed intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT), which is the most precise form of proton therapy available.