In April 2018 the two particle accelerators (superconductive synchrocyclotrons) that constitute the heart of the proton therapy centre were installed in two underground bunkers, with the highest of precision. One cyclotron will be used for the treatment of patients, the other one for high-technological research. In these particle accelerators protons will be accelerated to up to 2/3 the speed of light. Subsequently the protons are conducted to the treatment or research room with the help of magnet and a bundle line.
In the treatment room the patient will be radiated from different angles with the so-called gantry. This was also delivered in the April 2018 and installing it was a real feat.
Pencil beam scanning
The Proteus®ONE device is equipped with ‘pencil beam scanning’, the most advanced type of proton technology that allows the administration of extremely precise radiation. The ultra-fine proton bundle (pencil beam) makes a kind of zig-zagging movement (scanning) during which a small part of the tumour is radiated layer by layer until the full volume has been radiated up to the required radiation dose. At the same time, the surrounding healthy tissue is spared as much as possible.
In addition the Proteus®ONE device as well as the treatment room are equipped with quite a number of imaging modalities, including fixed x-ray tubes, a cone-beam CT, an in-room on-rails CT (Siemens SOMATOM Definition Edge), and a camera system for 3D-surface scanning (AlignRT® – Vision RT).
Planning system and process management
For setting up treatment plans we use the planning system RayStation (RaySearch). For the daily management of the proton therapy process of the oncological treatment we use the RayCare (RaySearch) software.