News | Proton Therapy | October 20, 2015

Korean National Cancer Center Adopts Pencil Beam Scanning Technology

Nation’s only proton therapy center now offers advanced treatment options for numerous cancers

IBA, pencil beam scanning technology, Korean National Cancer Center

Image courtesy of IBA

October 20, 2015 — IBA announced that Korea’s National Cancer Center (NCC) has recently installed and deployed its pencil beam scanning (PBS) delivery modality. On Sept. 22, PBS treatment was initiated for the first cancer patient to benefit from the superior precision of this delivery technique in Korea.

Established in 2000 to reduce the incidence and mortality of cancer in Korea, the NCC has offered local access to proton therapy to cancer patients since 2007. It remains the only such facility in the country today.

NCC’s clinical staff members have two gantry rooms and one fixed beam room available. Liver cases make up the majority of patients at the NCC Proton Therapy Center, but indications such as pediatric, lung, brain, head and neck, and pancreatic cancer are also treated.

As a very precise delivery modality, PBS opens the door to intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT), which allows clinicians to further minimize the dose to surrounding normal tissue. With the acquisition of PBS, the center broadens the scope of indications eligible for proton therapy, and is better equipped for complex cases such as large-volume tumors and skull base chordomas, or situations requiring craniospinal irradiation. The cancer patient who was selected for the first PBS treatment session currently receives combined double scattering/PBS proton treatment. Two more patients will join the PBS treatment program in the course of this week.

Access to the latest developments in cancer treatment is crucial in a country where cancer has been the leading cause of death for decades and that, despite the decrease in cancer mortality, is still facing a significantly increasing cancer incidence.

Se Byeong Lee, M.D., chief medical physicist at the National Cancer Center of Korea, commented: “Cancer being one of the primary health concerns in Korea, access to state-of-the-art treatment modalities is imperative for us. We have been anticipating PBS for a while now. It is exciting to know that our proton therapy treatments will not only gain in accuracy, but that we will also be able to open up our proton therapy facilities to a widening group of patients.”

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