Ruijin Hospital Pioneers Domestic Proton Therapy for Precise Cancer Treatment

Main image to the post Ruijin Hospital Pioneers Domestic Proton Therapy for Precise Cancer Treatment

Domestically Developed Proton Therapy System Arrives at Ruijin Hospital

Shanghai's Ruijin Hospital, affiliated with Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, is set to usher in a new era of cancer treatment with the introduction of a domestically developed 360-degree rotating gantry proton therapy system. This innovative technology promises more precise and effective cancer treatment, offering hope to patients and their families.

The system, a result of collaboration between Shanghai Apactron Particle Equipment Co., Ltd. and Ruijin Hospital, is currently undergoing final testing and commissioning before its official launch this year. Its key feature, the 360-degree rotating gantry, allows the proton beam to target tumors from virtually any angle, maximizing precision and minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissues.

"This unique physical property makes proton therapy ideal for treating pediatric cancers, as children's developing bodies are highly radiosensitive to radiation," explained Gao Yunsheng, a radiation oncologist at Ruijin Hospital. "It also excels for tumors near critical organs like the brainstem, heart, and spinal cord, allowing us to deliver tumoricidal doses while preserving these sensitive structures."

The system's robotic treatment couch further enhances its capabilities by optimally positioning patients for precise treatment delivery. Additionally, the domestically developed system offers significant cost advantages compared to imported proton therapy systems, reducing the entire treatment cost to less than 170,000 yuan per treatment course for the same indication.

Favorable policies in Shanghai further enhance affordability, with patients receiving 30-70 percent reimbursement through commercial health insurance and government aid plans. This makes proton therapy financially viable for more Chinese families, offering them access to this advanced treatment option.

The development of this domestically produced proton therapy system marks a significant milestone in the fight against cancer. It demonstrates the success of industry-academia-research-clinical partnerships and paves the way for wider adoption of this life-saving technology in China. With a remarkable 95 percent domestic production rate, the system represents a "zero to one" breakthrough in proton therapy technology.

While challenges remain in scaling up production to meet the growing demand, the future of proton therapy in China looks bright. With continued collaboration and innovation, this technology has the potential to transform cancer treatment and improve the lives of countless patients.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09