Solutions from Pfeiffer Vacuum for cancer therapy


Vacuum technology gives patients hope

A cancer diagnosis affects approximately 14 million people around the world every year and changes their lives forever. Fast, targeted and effective treatment is then crucial in the fight against the disease. The treatment options are getting better and better and increase the chances of recovery. Particular
attention is paid to the ion beam therapy. This high-precision and very effective form of radiation can be used to treat cancer tumors and keep the distressing side effects of conventional radiotherapy to a minimum.

Prerequisite for this type of therapy are high-purity vacuum conditions under which the ion beam is generated. At the Marburg Ion Beam Therapy Center (MIT), the third European ion beam therapy system has now been opened. Just like the first system in Heidelberg, which was put into operation in 2009, the Marburg treatment center also relies on the solutions from Pfeiffer Vacuum for equipping the vacuum system.

Construction of the accelerator facility at MIT, Source: University Hospital Heidelberg
Construction of the accelerator facility at MIT

Up to 750 patients per year can be treated here on three horizontal and one 45° irradiation stations. Thanks to robotically controlled treatment tables, which can be rotated in six directions, an optimal choice of the therapy beam's direction of incidence is possible. Ceiling-mounted robots in the treatment rooms guide digital tube systems with which the position of the patient can be determined prior to radiation and can be automatically fine-tuned from the treatment table. With its system, the MIT follows the example of the sister plant in the Heidelberg Ion Beam Therapy Center. Both systems work with the raster scanning method developed by the GSI Helmholtzzentrum in Darmstadt.

Treatment table with computerized robot at MIT
Treatment table with computerized robot at MIT

Read more about this state of the art technology in the attached application report.

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