30 maggio 2018 Radioterapia

RaySearch and NIRS/QST, Japan, enter into collaboration agreement regarding ion beam therapy

RaySearch has signed a research collaboration and licensing agreement with the National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology (QST), a pioneer of ion beam technology based in Chiba, Japan. QST was established in 2016 when the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS) was merged with certain functions of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency.

The research collaboration agreement will focus on advancing ion beam therapy via the pencil beam scanning technique. Researchers from RaySearch and NIRS will explore areas such as biological modeling of ion-beam irradiation and dose fractionation, robust beam delivery and plan optimization algorithms. The partnership includes a long-term licensing agreement that enables RaySearch to integrate the microdosimetric kinetic model (MKM) developed at NIRS, into the RayStation treatment planning system.  

Ion beam therapy is a highly advanced form of radiation therapy in which tumors are treated with protons or heavier ions such as helium or carbon. NIRS pioneered the clinical application of ion beam therapy during the 1990s, and the development of its MKM for calculating dose during treatment plan optimization was an important step forward.

Users will be able to combine the new functionality with existing features for carbon pencil beam scanning, such as robust 4D biological optimization, deformable registration, dose tracking and adaptive therapy. The MKM will be available in clinical releases of RayStation later this year*.

Koji Noda, Director general of NIRS, says: “This collaboration agreement with RaySearch is important for the global advancement of ion beam therapy. Together we will take the technology forward to improve treatment for patients worldwide.” 

Johan Löf, CEO RaySearch, says: “NIRS is a world leader in the development of technologies for ion beam therapy and RaySearch is the leader in advanced cancer treatment software. We are very excited about this collaboration and the clinical benefits that will result from integrating the technology in RayStation.”


NIRS was founded in 1957 with a mission to advance basic and applied research into radiological science in Japan. In the decades since, the mission has been conducted in terms of "aggressive" and "passive" applications of radiation. Aggressive applications include imaging of biological change at the molecular level and cancer treatment with high-energy ion beams. Passive research is oriented towards clarifying the biological consequences of radiation and preventing any adverse effects, as well as training and educating future research professionals in the field. QST was formed in April 2016 when NIRS merged with the quantum beam and nuclear fusion departments formerly belonging to the Japan Atomic Energy Agency. 


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