Press Information

"MHI vero 4DRT" Radiation Therapy Equipment
With Dynamic Tracking System
Begins Cancer Treatment at IBRI, Hospital in Japan

No.1486
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Tokyo, December 20, 2011 - The "MHI vero 4DRT," a highly advanced Radiation Therapy Equipment developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), began full-scale radiotherapy for lung cancer on December 16 at the Institute of Biomedical Research and Innovation (IBRI) in Kobe. The machine, which MHI developed under the product name "MHI-TM2000 Linear Accelerator", features the world's first real-time dynamic tracking irradiation system that is capable of accurately tracking the position of tumors that move inside patient's body due to respiration, for example, and thereby enables highly precise, uninterrupted X-ray irradiation of to the targeted tumor. The launch of the new radiotherapy at IBRI marks the world's second application of dynamically tracked irradiation with real-time monitoring to confirm exact tumor position; the first application was introduced at Kyoto University Hospital in September. Going forward MHI expects the number of hospitals and institutions to adopt the new radiotherapy method to increase progressively as more advanced medical treatments become increasingly common.

"MHI
In radiotherapy cancer treatment, the key challenge is how to enable exact delivery of radiation beams to the tumor and to minimize adverse effects on normal cells in the surrounding region. Until now, achieving accurate irradiation positioning for exact delivery of the beam required considerable time and expertise by a skilled radiologist, and development of a system that enables more efficient radiotherapy has been sought.

The MHI machine identifies the position of a moving tumor in real time based on the information obtained using two X-ray radiography devices and enables concentrated irradiation only to cancer lesion by moving X-ray irradiation head at the same time monitoring entire tumors. With those innovative features, it achieves the world's highest level of irradiation accuracy by enabling precise localization of a moving tumor easily and more simply - a feat long considered very difficult. The system not only minimizes side effects that may occur in normal cells but also significantly reduces the burden on both the patient and medical staff.

MHI developed the machine's dynamic tracking irradiation system by integrating the company's image processing and accurate radiation beam delivery technologies. Until now, radiotherapy treatment had progressed to a level enabling 3-dimensional (3D) tumor localization inside patient's body. Now, with realization of MHI's dynamic tracking-based radiation, treatment will further evolve to 4D, newly adding in a time factor.

In developing the machine, MHI established the basic technology in projects backed by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), which aims to promote research and development of basic technologies. MHI worked toward the system's commercialization with additional NEDO support in the form of a project to promote the development of commercially viable next-generation strategic technologies. Kyoto University and IBRI cooperated with MHI in the medical aspects of system development.
IBRI is a facility established at Kobe Port Island to provide highly advanced specialized medical care and conduct related research, based on the Kobe Medical Industry Development Project. In line with its mission to provide advanced medical treatment by bridging the gap between basic biometrical research results and clinical application (translational research), since its inception IBRI has been providing highly advanced medical treatment, including radiotherapy. IBRI introduced the first unit of the MHI machine in May 2008, and now, by augmenting the new dynamic tracking function, the institution can offer even more advanced and more patient-friendly treatment.

MHI made its full-scale entrance into the medical equipment field after obtaining approval for manufacturing and marketing of the MHI-TM2000 from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in January 2008: authorization for the machine with its dynamic tracking irradiation system was received in 2010. To the present MHI has received orders for seven units in Japan and six units for destinations overseas.
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