News Releases

11/22/2021

Hitachi Selected by the University of Tsukuba for its Second Proton Therapy System as a PFI Project

First-ever additional proton therapy center order from an existing facility in Japan

Image of New Proton Therapy Center
The new center is on the left of existing site

Tokyo, 22 November 2021 – Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501, ”Hitachi”) announced today that it has been selected by the University of Tsukuba to provide Hitachi’s proton therapy solution including its design, manufacturing, construction, maintenance and operation as a PFI (Private Finance Initiative) project*. The parties have signed the contract on September 30, 2021. The new proton therapy center will be equipped with Hitachi’s compact design proton therapy system, including a set of one accelerator and two rotating gantry treatment rooms. The new therapy center is expected to start treating patients around the summer of 2025, followed by a 20-year period of operation and maintenance support by Hitachi.

The University of Tsukuba has been using Hitachi’s proton therapy system since 2001. After 20 years of operation, due to aging facilities, the university has determined to introduce a 2nd unit. Upon completion and opening of the new proton therapy center, the University of Tsukuba will shift its treatment from the existing center to the new center. This is the first time in Japan for a particle therapy system provider to receive a 2nd unit order from an existing facility.

* PFI (Private Finance Initiative) project: Method for utilizing private funds, management skills, and technology in order to construct, operate, and maintain public facilities, etc.

Background and Insight

The University of Tsukuba has been practicing cancer treatment using a proton accelerator since 1983, as a worldwide pioneer. In 2001, the University of Tsukuba adopted Hitachi's proton therapy system and has provided proton therapy to approximately 6,000 cancer patients to date. Hitachi will establish a new proton therapy facility through a strong partnership with the University of Tsukuba which is aiming to be a base for further development of research, education, and treatment for radiotherapy that represents not only Japan, but also the world. In addition, Hitachi and the University of Tsukuba will carry out a joint research program on treatment technologies for pediatric cancer, and tumors of respiratory moving organs (migratory tumors) such as liver and lung cancer. Through this project, Hitachi will contribute to treatment that is gentle to children and the elderly, as well as the maintenance and improvement of patients’ quality of life after treatment.
In addition, Hitachi will accelerate the global expansion of particle cancer treatment systems and contribute to the further development of minimally invasive cancer treatments.

Overview of Particle Therapy

Particle Therapy is an advanced type of cancer radiotherapy. Protons extracted from hydrogen atoms, or carbon ions are accelerated up to 70% of the speed of light. This energy is concentrated directly on the tumor while minimizing radiation dose to surrounding healthy tissue. Particle therapy improves the quality of life for cancer patients since the patient experiences no pain during treatment and the procedure has very few side effects compared to that of traditional radiotherapy. In most cases, patients can continue with their normal daily activities while undergoing treatment.

Website of Hitachi’s Particle Therapy System

https://www.hitachi.com/businesses/healthcare/products-support/pbt/

About Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, contributes to a sustainable society with a higher quality of life by driving innovation through data and technology as the Social Innovation Business. Hitachi is focused on strengthening its contribution to the Environment, the Resilience of business and social infrastructure as well as comprehensive programs to enhance Security & Safety. Hitachi resolves the issues faced by customers and society across six domains: IT, Energy, Mobility, Industry, Smart Life and Automotive Systems through its proprietary Lumada solutions. The company’s consolidated revenues for fiscal year 2020 (ended March 31, 2021) totaled 8,729.1 billion yen ($78.6 billion), with 871 consolidated subsidiaries and approximately 350,000 employees worldwide. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at https://www.hitachi.com.