Wednesday, June 12, 2024


Leo Cancer Care Teams up With World-Leading Carbon Ion Centre


Partnership will see Upright Radiotherapy System Installed at World-Leading Cancer Centre

MIDDLETON, Wis., April 22, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Leo Cancer Care’s unique upright radiotherapy solution is set to be installed in one of the world’s most advanced oncology centres to deliver proton and carbon ion radiation therapy.

Dr. Sandro Rossi, CNAO Director General with Stephen Towe, CEO of Leo Cancer Care
Dr. Sandro Rossi, CNAO Director General with Stephen Towe, CEO of Leo Cancer Care

A groundbreaking deal has been agreed with CNAO (National Center for Oncological Hadrontherapy) in Pavia, Italy. Marie® an upright patient positioning system combined with a vertical CT scanner, which will be placed in front of an existing fixed radiation beam with patients rotated slowly and smoothly to different beam angles as treatment is administered.

The CNAO decision to acquire Marie, which also incorporates a CT imaging system, is a significant development for Leo Cancer Care as it is one of only a handful of centres in the world to offer both proton and carbon ion therapy.

World-leading research

The system, which is named after Nobel laureate and radioactivity research pioneer Marie Curie, aims to reduce motion with research indicating that human organs remain in a more natural position upright, as patients undergo treatment.

While several centres globally have identified Marie as a cost-effective solution for proton therapy delivery, CNAO will be the first use it for carbon ion radiotherapy.

CNAO is an Italian government-funded treatment and research institution and recognised as one of the most advanced oncology centres in the world.

Leo Cancer Care’s CEO Stephen Towe said: "CNAO is investing heavily in oncology and the latest radiation therapy technology, so it is great for us to be associated with that level of investment and innovation."

Next level radiation therapy

While proton therapy delivers highly-targeted doses of radiotherapy to cancer patients with minimal impact on surrounding healthy tissue, Towe said carbon ion therapy takes that to the next level and one that is even more precisely targeted.

"If proton therapy is the gold standard, then carbon ion is platinum, so the centre is among the top echelons of radiation therapy delivery," added Towe.

"This is a tremendous step for our company as the goal has always been to enable the best form of treatments for patients globally."

Making a statement

Carbon ion systems are available at four sites in Europe and a limited number in Japan and China and one under construction in the United States. Additionally, there is currently one centre in South Korea, with plans underway for the construction of additional facilities to meet the growing demand for this cutting-edge technology.

Having a leading carbon ion centre invest in Marie is a major statement, said Towe, highlighting the quality of the innovation and benefits of the upright system.

Carbon ions are not extensively utilized because of the size and expense associated with large treatment rooms and gantries for supine treatment.

The new solution offers a smaller footprint, eliminating the requirement for a large rotating gantry, as explained by Towe, thereby enabling fixed beam machines to deliver treatment from multiple angles.

Most carbon ion facilities utilize a fixed beam, limiting treatment angles and indications with the patient lying down, while a gantry-less solution, rotating the patient upright, could unlock currently inaccessible cancers with 360 degrees of freedom. Additionally, it will also enable carbon arc therapy, whereby the patient will rotate continually aiming to deliver optimal dose to the target tumour.

CNAO President Prof. Gianluca Vago said: "CNAO has launched, with the support of the Health Ministry and Region Lombardy, a significant project of renewal and expansion.

Marie represents an important part of this project since it is going to replace the positioning and verification systems in one of the existing treatment rooms with protons and carbon ions. The upright positioning of the patient gives additional flexibility for the choice of beam direction and, particularly for carbon ions, it will represent a potential surrogate for gantry irradiations. With Marie our clinicians will have also the possibility to apply state of the art static and arc therapy on a fixed beamline, as well as develop new protocols for non oncological applications of particle beams, such as ventricular arrhythmia treatments."

*Leo Cancer Care is in the process of acquiring regulatory clearance for its upright delivery system in Europe.

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Source : Leo Cancer Care Teams up With World-Leading Carbon Ion Centre

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