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MD Anderson, Hitachi’s First U.S. Proton Beam Therapy System Partner, Celebrates a Decade of Proton Beam Therapy

Established spot scanning technology and high system reliability were among highlights

Tokyo, June 17, 2016 --The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center celebrated the 10th anniversary of the opening of its proton therapy center in Houston, Texas on May 19, 2016. Notable doctors and speakers gathered at the world renowned hospital, together with representatives of Hitachi, some of whom were part of the team who helped plan and construct the proton beam therapy system, the engineering marvel used to treat over 7,000 patients since its first treatment date May 4, 2006.

Presenters from MD Anderson reflected on the past decade and shared their personal experiences along with technical and clinical overviews of proton therapy at MD Anderson. Some noted achievements included the 1,750 patients treated with Hitachi’s Spot Scanning technology, and the system’s high 98% reliability, credited to Hitachi’s dedicated maintenance teams.

Masaya Watanabe, Vice President and Executive Officer, CEO of Hitachi's Healthcare Business Unit stated, “It is our great privilege to take part in this remarkable event. The partnership with MD Anderson has been innovative, as we are the pioneer in spot scanning technology. Since we started clinical use in 2008, it has not only helped Hitachi expand into global market of proton therapy systems, but also reminds us of the importance of strengthening the collaboration with MD Anderson to enhance cancer treatment. With our dedicated healthcare business unit structure that enables comprehensive solutions, Hitachi is poised to provide continuous support for MD Anderson going forward.”

Stephen M Hahn, MD, Division Head, Radiation Oncology, stated "Our partnership with Hitachi over the last decade has been invaluable. Together, we have pioneered and expanded the clinical utility of intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT)."

Steven J. Frank, MD, Medical Director, Proton Therapy Center, stated "Cancer patients worldwide will continue to benefit from the research, development, and clinical trials in proton therapy at MD Anderson."

Hitachi hopes to build on the strong, proven relationship with MD Anderson to continue to drive innovation in particle therapy around the world.

Overview of Proton Beam Therapy

Proton Beam Therapy is an advanced form of external beam radiotherapy. Protons from hydrogen atoms are extracted and accelerated up to 70% the speed of light. Its energy is concentrated directly on the tumor while significantly decreasing radiation dose to surrounding healthy tissues. PBT improves the quality of life for cancer patients since they experience almost no pain during treatment and the procedure has very few side effects compared with that of traditional radiotherapy. In most cases, patients can continue with their normal daily activities while undergoing treatment. Because there are fewer side effects, PBT now becomes one of the most advanced cancer treatments.

Overview of Spot-Scanning Irradiation Technology

Spot-scanning irradiation technology does not scatter proton beams as with conventional proton beam therapy. Rather, it repeatedly turns a narrow proton beam on and off at high speed as it progressively changes location to irradiate entire tumor volumes. Protons can be aimed with high precision according to the targeted tumors, even those with complex shapes, while minimizing the impact on nearby healthy tissue. Furthermore, customized equipment such as collimators and boluses are not required.

Overview of Intensity Modulated Proton Therapy (IMPT)

Intensity Modulated Proton Therapy is a form of Spot Scanning proton therapy, where the energies of proton beams directed from various angles are manipulated so that tumors of complex shapes can be precisely irradiated while minimizing the effect of radiation to surrounding healthy tissues.

About Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, delivers innovations that answer society’s challenges. The company’s consolidated revenues for fiscal 2015 (ended March 31, 2016) totaled 10,034.3 billion yen ($88.8 billion). The Hitachi Group is a global leader in the Social Innovation Business, and it has approximately 335,000 employees worldwide. Through collaborative creation, Hitachi is providing solutions to customers in a broad range of sectors, including Power / Energy, Industry / Distribution / Water, Urban Development, and Finance / Government & Public / Healthcare. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at

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