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Samsung Medical Center Opens Proton Therapy Facility

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 13 Jun 2016
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Image: The opening of the SMC proton therapy facility (Photo courtesy of SMC).
Image: The opening of the SMC proton therapy facility (Photo courtesy of SMC).
Samsung Medical Center (SMC; Seoul, South Korea) has opened a new proton therapy facility for cancer treatment, equipped with a cyclotron and two rotating gantries.

The SMC proton therapy facility will provide two different irradiation nozzle systems, including a multi-purpose nozzle in the first treatment room that can offer both conventional broad beam irradiation and advanced pencil beam scanning (PBS); irradiation modes can be switched on demand, depending on the target diseases. The second treatment room provides a dedicated scanning nozzle that offers PBS for larger fields (maximum 40x30 cm). A future, third treatment room is planned with a rotating gantry.

PBS delivers narrow proton beams to the targeted cancer tissue conforming to the shape of tumor, enabling complex tumors to be irradiated precisely with concentrated high doses, while minimizing side effects for surrounding healthy tissues. In comparison with broad beam irradiation, preparation prior to treatment is easier, and the consumable cost for patient’s specific compensators and collimators can be decreased by PBS. The broad beam treatment room (G1) opened in December 2015, and the large field PBS treatment room (G2) was launched in March 2016.

“Proton therapy is a state of the art radiation therapy which can increase the cure rate, while minimizing the normal tissue toxicity,” said Professor Youngyih Han, PhD, project manager of the SMC proton project. “Therefore, facilities introducing proton therapy have been ramped up all over the world and the demand is expected to grow. On the other hand, further technical research and development and professional human resource development for proton therapy is essential.”

SMC is one of the leading hospitals in Korea, with almost 2,000 patient beds, a staff of 8,000, and over 150,000 patients treated annually. It is composed of Samsung Seoul Hospital Kangbook Samsung Hospital, Samsung Changwon hospital, and the Samsung Life Sciences Research Center. SMC was founded in 1994 under the philosophy of “contributing to improving the nation’s health through the best medical service, advanced medical research, and development of outstanding medical personnel.”

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