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Mayo Clinic picks Hitachi for proton therapy systems

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | May 26, 2011
A Hitachi-made gantry.
(Courtesy Hitachi Ltd.)
Hitachi Ltd. said earlier this month it inked a deal with Mayo Clinic to supply two proton therapy synchrotrons for new cancer-treatment centers in development in Minnesota and Arizona. The deal includes a contract for 10 years of maintenance and service.

Hitachi president Hiroaki Nakanishi also said this was the first time multiple proton systems were provided under a single contract.

The Tokyo-based company will provide intensity-modulated proton therapy systems that use spot-scanning technology, which allows better precision and more uniform dose delivery. Hitachi said the systems use a new design that's 40 percent smaller than conventional systems.

The units will be installed at a center in Rochester, Minn. and another in Phoenix, Ariz. Construction on both facilities is expected to start later this year, with the Minnesota center opening in summer 2015 and the Arizona one in spring 2016, Hitachi said.

The centers will have four treatment rooms, a gantry and a fixed-beam room, used initially for research, Hitachi said.

The only other U.S. clinical installation of a Hitachi-made synchrotron is at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, which started treating patients almost exactly five years ago.

Hitachi said it received Food and Drug Administration 510(k) clearance for the spot-scanning technology in December 2007. It created its first proton beam system in 1998, which was installed at the University of Tsukuba in Japan. Trial patient treatments began in 2001.

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