The Swiss Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Villigen and Siemens Medical Solutions (Med) in Erlangen, Germany, have recently signed a cooperation contract. Both partners agreed to a closer collaboration in proton therapy planning – an important component of a particle therapy solution.
Within the scope of the agreement, Siemens has access to the know-how of the therapy planning system at the Paul Scherrer Institute. Both partners are joining forces to further develop proton therapy planning. Siemens will be provided with the opportunity of testing its own methods at PSI and will complement this offer by supporting research at the institute.
PSI is the only institute world-wide which uses so-called Spot Scanning for proton therapy. Spot Scanning is a method where the target volume is scanned via raster points to enable precise irradiation. "PSI has many years of experience with this fast dynamic scanning using a proton pencil beam. We can certainly profit from this accumulated know-how. We would like to increase our own knowledge in particle therapy on the broad basis available at the institute. This will allow us to provide the market with the most optimal solution,“ said Dr. Walter Folberth, head of the particle therapy project at Siemens Medical Solutions. Since 1996, PSI has been gathering clinical experience in treating patients with this method. By now more than 200 patients have been treated at the proton gantry. Additionally PSI has treated more than 4200 patients with eye melanomas using proton therapy since 1984.
The so-called intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT) has also been used at PSI for patient treatments for more than 5 years. IMPT is a method whereby the inhomogeneous dose distribution of individual fields is optimized so that their sum results in a homogeneous and precise proton irradiation of the target volume.
The optimization algorithms for this purpose are available as well. “PSI considers itself to be a center of competence in the area of proton therapy and is very interested in transferring its knowledge of therapy planning into practical hospital applications,“ adds Martin Jermann, chief of staff and head of the proton therapy program at PSI, who would like to see a technology transfer.
This partnership strengthens Siemens Medical Solutions in its position within oncology and as a provider of integrated solutions for particle therapy where protons and carbon ions are combined into one system. Proton therapy planning is part of the particle therapy solution offered by Siemens Medical Solutions that involves a highly precise as well as biologically highly effective therapy method in the fight against cancer. A synchroton is used to accelerate protons or carbons ions to very high speeds which are then delivered to tissues by a proton pencil beam. Following delivery, the particles cause irreversible damage to tumor cells while healthy tissue is spared.
Siemens Medical Solutions is one of the world’s largest suppliers to the healthcare industry.The company is known for bringing together innovative medical technologies, healthcare information systems, management consulting, and support services, to help customers achieve tangible, sustainable, clinical and financial outcomes. From imaging systems for diagnosis, to therapy equipment for treatment, to patient monitors to hearing instruments and beyond, Siemens innovations contribute to the health and well-being of people across the globe, while improving operational efficiencies and optimizing workflow in hospitals, clinics, home health agencies, and doctors' offices. Employing approximately 31,000 people worldwide and operating in more than 120 countries, Siemens Medical Solutions reported sales of 7.07 billion EUR, orders of 8.12 billion EUR and group profit of 1.05 billion EUR for fiscal 2004.
Further information can be found under: www.siemens.com/medical