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Tokyo, February 21, 2012 --- Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE:6501/NYSE:HIT) today announced that it has entered into an agreement with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to provide its proton beam therapy (PBT) system. This next-generation technology has spot scanning capability for treating certain forms of cancer. The agreement includes PBT system maintenance for 10 years following completion of the systems’ installation.
The system will be installed at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN.
There will be three treatment rooms, two with rotating gantry systems and one with a fixed horizontal beam. The installed PBT system will be a compact design with a foot print that is approximately 40 percent smaller than that of conventional systems. Construction for facilities has already begun and treatment using the proton therapy system is expected to be offered in the fall of 2015.
Dr. William Evans, Chief Executive Officer of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, said “By bringing the technology to our campus, we will become the first center in the country offering this cutting-edge therapy solely for the purpose of treating children with brain tumors and other pediatric cancers. Currently, we ensure our patients needing this therapy receive it through collaboration with other institutions, but having the technology available here at St. Jude will enable a new level of service and convenience for our patients. In addition, it takes advantage of recent advances in the technology and will allow integration with our cutting-edge research programs.”
Tatsuro Ishizuka, Vice President and Executive Officer, President & CEO of Power Systems Company, Hitachi, Ltd. said, "It is an honor to have our technology recognized and to be selected to provide our PBT system. We are especially proud of the fact that our system has been selected by the premier pediatric oncology hospital and will be dedicated to the treatment of children. Hitachi pioneered proton beam therapy technology in Japan and devoted research and development resources to improve this technology over the past 20 years. Hitachi’s expertise in accelerators, irradiation and control systems played a key role in the development and refinement of the PBT system. Hitachi will continue to contribute to improving treatment outcomes for people with cancer by promoting PBT business globally.”
PBT is an advanced type of radiation therapy used to treat adults and children with cancer. Protons, the atomic nucleus of hydrogen, are accelerated to high speeds and focused to deposit their energy in tumors. PBT has been shown to improve the quality of life for cancer patients since patients experience less radiation exposure to normal tissues and fewer side effects. In most cases, adults and children can continue with their normal daily activities while undergoing out-patient treatment.
The spot scanning technology designed for the St. Jude facility became feasible by advancing the uniform quality beam extraction and control technology from the accelerator which includes three primary benefits: (1) more accurate irradiation which can reduce the side effects to the healthy tissues surrounding the tumor compared with conventional double scattering irradiation; (2) patient-specific collimators and boluses are not necessary; and (3) proton beam usage factor is high, reducing unnecessary secondary radiation.
Since the 1990’s, interest in proton beam therapy as a form of cancer treatment has been rapidly increasing in the U.S. Given the growing demand for more advanced and less detrimental treatment modalities, interest in proton therapy is on the rise, with more and more hospitals and cancer treatment facilities venturing into this area. In December 2007, for the first time in the U.S., Hitachi cleared the FDA Premarket Notification Special 510(k) for spot scanning irradiation technology.
Since opening 50 years ago, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has changed the way the world treats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. No family ever pays St. Jude for the care their child receives and, for every child treated here, thousands more have been saved worldwide through St. Jude discoveries. The hospital has played a pivotal role in pushing U.S. pediatric cancer survival rates from 20 to 80 percent overall, and is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. It is also a leader in the research and treatment of blood disorders and infectious diseases in children. St. Jude was founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, who believed that no child should die in the dawn of life. Join that mission by visiting www.stjude.org or following us on www.facebook.com/stjude. Follow us on Twitter @StJudeResearch.
Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE: HIT / TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 360,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2010 (ended March 31, 2011) consolidated revenues totaled 9,315 billion yen ($112.2 billion). Hitachi will focus more than ever on the Social Innovation Business, which includes information and telecommunication systems, power systems, environmental, industrial and transportation systems, and social and urban systems, as well as the sophisticated materials and key devices that support them. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at www.hitachi.com.