What is heavy ion radiotherapy?

Differences from conventional radiotherapy
Heavy ion radiotherapy offers hope for treating cancer resistant to conventional radiotherapy.

Heavy ion radiotherapy is an advanced radiotherapy technique.

There are three types of cancer therapy.

Three methods for treating cancer
  • 1. Surgical therapy: Cancer cells are removed by surgery (see illustration).
  • 2. Radiotherapy: Cancer cells are attacked by radiation (see illustration).
  • 3. Chemotherapy: Using drugs, cancer cells are blocked from proliferating (see illustration).

Heavy ion radiotherapy is a kind of radiotherapy, based on advanced technology.
Reference: What is heavy ion radiotherapy?

Characteristics of each therapy
  Surgical Therapy Radiotherapy Chemotherapy
Characteristics ・Standard in many cases. ・Relatively low  burden on the body.
・Comparable with surgical therapy in the results of early-stage cancer treatment (heavy ion radiotherapy).
・It can be anticipated that the inhibition of cancer cells provides survival and other benefits.
・Often used in patients with hematological cancer such as leukemia.
Demerits ・The operation is hard on the body.
・The resection area may lose its functionality and shape.
・Side effects may be locally produced.
・Charged particle therapy is more expensive than other treatments.
・Side effects may be systemically produced.
・There are large individual differences in effectiveness.

Heavy ion radiotherapy offers hope for treating cancer resistant to conventional radiotherapy.

Heavy ion radiotherapy gives the hope that it will be effective against cancers resistant to conventional radiotherapy or for those unfit for surgical resection. These include locally advanced cancers of the head and neck, lung, liver, pancreas, and bone/soft tissues in the pelvis and vertebra, which had been considered difficult to treat effectively, as well as prostate cancer and post-operative recurrence of rectal cancer, etc.

The number of patients treated with heavy ion radiotherapy.

The number of patients receiving heavy ion radiotherapy in the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (June 1994 to February 2016)

The number of patients receiving heavy ion radiotherapy in the National Institute of Radiological Sciences
Change in the number of patients treated at the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (June 1994 to February 2016)

Change in the number of patients treated at the National Institute of Radiological Sciences