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Hadrontherapy with Synchrotron - Protons and carbon ion particles
New Technology Is Making a Difference in the Fight Against Cancer

Why hadron therapy for cancer treatment? What is the advantage?
Hadron therapy is not a replacement for conventional radiotherapy or surgery, but is an additional tool that physicists offer of the oncologists. The clinical interest in hadron therapy resides in the fact that it delivers precision treatment of tumors, exploiting the characteristic shape of energy deposition in the tissues  for hadrons, i.e. the dose deposition as a function of the depth of matter traversed. While X-rays lose energy slowly and mainly exponentially as they penetrate tissues, hadrons deposit almost all of their energy in a sharp peak – the Bragg peak – at the very end of their path. Hence hadron beams produce a greater dose to the tumor than to the healthy tissue previously traversed.

The Bragg peak makes it possible to target a well defined cancerous region at a depth in the body that can be tuned by adjusting the energy of the incident particle beam. The dose deposition is so sharp that new techniques are being developed to treat the whole cancerous target; thin pencil-like hadron beam are guided according to the shape of the zone to be treated and cover the target volume in 3D, under the control of sweeping magnets coupled to energy variations. With this technique the tumor can be delineated in all its contours with a precision of 2-3 mm.

When hadron therapy is most convenient to use?
Hadron therapy is mostly used for treating tumors that are located close to vital organs that would be unacceptably damaged by X-rays, or in pediatric oncology, where quality of life and late side effects are a major concern.

Proton, Carbon or other hadrons?
While the advantages of protons over X-rays are quantitative in terms of the amount and distribution of the delivered dose, several studies show evidence that carbon ions damage cancer cells in a way that the cells cannot repair themselves. Carbon therapy may be the optimal choice to tackle radio-resistant tumours but also other light ions, such as helium, are   investigated.
Clinical experience in the Japanese centres, uncontested leaders in treatment and clinical studies with carbon ions, has not only demonstrated that carbon therapy is more effective than conventional photon radiotherapy on certain types of tumours but also that, with respect to both protons and photons, a significant reduction of the overall treatment time and the number of irradiation sessions can be achieved.

Which are the requirements and challenges for the detector systems?
Besides the continuous ongoing attempts to optimize the equipment for online beam monitoring delivery and control, the R&D endeavors concentrate mainly on: methods to reduce the range uncertainties, 3D in-vivo on-line dosimetry and tomography using available information emerging from the target volume, developing dedicated imaging detector systems.

The National Centre of Oncology (CNAO) was created with the goal of treating tumors by using protons and carbon ion particles belonging to the category of hadrons.
The CNAO Foundation is also a Centre of Research and Development, whose activities range from clinical and radiobiological research to translational research with the objective of providing continual improvements in the capacity to cure.
Following-up all the patients after hadron-therapy in the Centre and in all the hadron-therapy Centres around the world, the effectiveness of the therapy will be established. This knowledge will affect therapy protocols, with by-products on Centre technologies.

Why Cancer Care in Italy?
The National Center for Oncological Hadrontherapy (CNAO), established by the Health Ministry in 2001, is one of the 4 centers in the world using both protons and carbon ions for the treatment of radio-resistant tumors.

The peculiarities of the hadrontherapy treatment are:

Our goals are:
  • unique and personalized treatments for the patients such as hadrontherapy
  • high-quality performances
  • clinical research
  • technological innovation
  • training and education

Dr. Marco Pullia introduces the synchrotron

"The synchrotron available at CNAO of Pavia is the only one in Italy which can extract from the atom carbon ions that are the most powerful particles for the treatment of tumors resistant to traditional radiotherapy or inoperable. The synchrotron cures the worst cancer safely, giving you the chance to get back healthy ”

You will have the following benefits:
√ the treatment is fast, it leaves you more free time
√ You will be cured by top medical specialists with an excellent track record
√ Italian doctors will care and help you during the treatment
√ The used technologies are the most innovative in the world

Interview Francesca Imbesi

With this innovative cure you will avoid:
X cuts and sutures: no pain and more peace of mind for you
X hospitalization: the treatment lasts from 5 to 15 minutes a day
X side effects: keep your energy to enjoy your stay
X rehabilitation: you can use the free time to visit and enjoy Italy

Interview Francesca Imbesi
Free estimate
Why is the estimate for free? As you can imagine, the analysis and the evaluation of your medical record takes time and comparison of medical specialists.
For you it is free, because we select our patients carefully.
This is our best guarantee for you.
If you don’t become our patient, you won’t have to pay anything. In this way you will only pay when you get accepted and cured in our center.

Come to Italy to get healed
Synchrotron is an advanced machinery and there are only four prototypes in the world.
This is because the medical specialization and the required techniques are very high, and the machineries and technologies are very expensive.
It is not available in America, because it’s based on Italian and European researches:
Italy is the place to treat cancer.

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