RaySearch wins breakthrough order for proton treatment planning system


RaySearch Laboratories AB has entered into a partnership and licensing agreement with Westdeutsches Protonentherapiezentrum Essen gGmbH (WPE). The partnership means that RaySearch will provide a comprehensive proton treatment planning system that will be used for planning patient treatments at the WPE when it becomes operational.

Since 2006 RaySearch has invested heavily to develop the most advanced proton system on the market. In 2008, it was used for the first time to treat a patient and this agreement represents the first commercial order for the system.

WPE is a proton therapy centre under construction at the University Hospital in Essen, Germany. Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation therapy and is a highly effective method to selectively irradiate tumours and at the same time spare surrounding healthy organs.

The system will incorporate all the latest advanced tools and algorithms for optimisation and dose computation to take full advantage of the potential that proton therapy offers. It will also incorporate new software tools for adaptive therapy taking organ motion during and between treatment sessions into account. By adapting the treatment for changes occurring in the patient’s anatomy, the precision of the treatment can be improved even further. Adaptive therapy is a very promising area where RaySearch has conducted extensive research and built considerable expertise during several years and where no commercial solutions are available on the market today.

RaySearch will have full responsibility for the development and support of the software which will be based on RaySearch’s proprietary RayStation treatment planning platform. The system is scheduled to be fully operational during the summer of 2010.

Jonathan Farr, Head of Medical Physics, WPE, said: “With the advent of commercially available proton therapy pencil beam scanning systems (PBS) with superior dose deposition properties, PBS technology is evolving from traditional static tumour treatments also to those types that can include motion. With modern 4D CT-imaging, a patient’s anatomy and tumour motion can be monitored before dose delivery, representing an extensive and valuable data set for optimisation of the dose distribution and dose verification.”

“WPE is fortunate to have committed with their partner RaySearch, to build together an advanced treatment planning system to make full use of the available information from 4D-imaging for treatment guidance. WPE, together with RaySearch, are confident that this will bring clinical benefit to patients with large and mobile tumours whose clinical indications were not previously treated by the most highly conformal type of proton therapy, PBS,” Farr added.
“For RaySearch, this agreement is of very large strategic importance for several reasons. By winning our first proton order we have taken a big step towards becoming the leading player in the exciting field of proton radiation therapy,” says Johan Löf, CEO of RaySearch.