Done in 2 minutes without pain… Receive your ideal cancer treatment from next year

A particle accelerator with a diameter of 20 m and a height of 1 m installed in the heavy particle therapy center at Sinchon Isolation Hospital, Seoul. When carbon particles are supplied to the accelerating circuit from the yellow-green mesh in the middle, the outer blue conductive magnets accelerate the speed of light up to 70% and send it to a separate treatment room to deliver energy beam to the patient’s cancer. cells. Provided by Yonsei Medical Center

The age of heavy particle therapy, known as the ‘dream cancer treatment’, is ushering in the age of radiation therapy which is dozens of times more effective. Yonsei Medical Center will invest 300 billion won to complete the latest heavy particle therapy equipment and related centers, and start treatment for heavy particle cancer for the first time in Korea from March next year. 16th in the world. Changes are expected to occur in the domestic cancer treatment landscape.

Return home after treatment in 2 minutes… No pain

Finished in 2 minutes without pain... Receive 'dream cancer treatment' from next year

Yoon Dong-seop, president of Yonsei Medical Center (pictured), held a press conference for the second anniversary of his inauguration at the Shinchon campus of Yonsei University on the 19th to reveal the future treatment pattern. Director Yoon said, “The heavy particle therapy machine accelerates carbon atoms close to the speed of light and then irradiates an energy beam directly to the cancer cells through the treatment device.” He said.

As soon as the heavy particle hits the cancer, it emits powerful radiation energy to destroy the DNA of cancer cells. At this stage, the normal cells surrounding the cancer cells are barely destroyed. Heavy particles are 12 times heavier than protons, so they can destroy many more cancer cells. The first heavy particle therapy device to be introduced in Korea is one fixed type and two rotating types. The rotating type rotates 360 degrees and irradiates heavy particles, so it can target the patient’s cancer cells from any direction. The treatment device consists of a synchrotron, a device that accelerates particles, and a rotating gantry, a treatment device. The synchrotron is 20m wide and 1m high. The rotating gantry weighs 200 tonnes and is 9 meters long.

The number and duration of treatment is also short. Early stage lung cancer is treated once and liver cancer is treated with two treatments. The treatment time per patient is very short, about 2 minutes, and there is no pain. You do not need to be in hospital and you can go home immediately after treatment. As the preparation process takes time, it is expected that three units will be able to treat 50 patients per day.

Full-scale patient treatment is expected to begin in March next year after trial surgery, and bookings for treatment will be accepted from October onwards. Yonsei Medical Center poured 300 billion won into this project, including heavy particle therapy equipment, a dedicated building, and medical staff training.

“Improve the survival rate of incurable cancer”… the cost is high

Director Yoon said, “Because heavy particle treatment has little effect on normal tissues other than cancer cells, the risk of side effects and sequelae is reduced. I expect that,” he said. He continued, “Cancers that can be treated with heavy particles are all solid cancers except blood cancer, but they have a particularly strong effect on cancer cells in an oxygen-deficient environment. It could be widely used for treatment, and etc.”

Only 10 hospitals in the world can treat heavy particles, so the cost of treatment abroad is between 100 million and 200 million won. Japan, where mostly domestic patients visit, started the world’s first heavy ion treatment in 1994, and now has seven heavy ion treatment centers in operation. Yonsei Medical Center plans to determine the cost of treatment after consultation with the Food and Drug Safety Administration when the heavy particle treatment facility is completed. Considering foreign cases, domestic treatment costs are expected to reach tens of millions of won money.

Director Yoon said, “In addition to robotic surgery, which has been leading the domestic medical field, Yonsei Medical Center will strengthen data science such as big data and genomic information and precision medicine based on cell therapy.”

Correspondent Kim Jong-un

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