Dept. of Charged Particle Therapy Research


 The Heavy Particle Beam therapy Department is researching cancer therapy using heavy particle beams. Heavy particle beams provide strong therapeutic effect with superior dosage concentration on the lesion, and are by their nature a form of radiation suitable for cancer treatment. NIRS has been working on clinical research into heavy particle beam cancer treatment since 1994, and its results are highly regarded, both in Japan and overseas. In 2003, NIRS obtained approval for advanced medical care from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, and there is the possibility that it could be covered to treat some diseases under the national health insurance system in FY2016.
At present we are further advancing (evolving) our treatment methods, aiming to establish methods that place less burden on the patient, have shorter treatment periods, and can be expected to deliver good results. The scanning irradiation that we started in 2011 has already been applied to over 1,000 patients, and we are working on the development of usage methods that make the most of this technique’s advantages. Using it with the rotating gantry that we introduced in 2015 is expected to yield further progress.

Research Theme

Standardization of cancer treatment with heavy particle beam treatment, and clarification of its indications

The wider use of heavy particle beam treatment requires clarification of indications and standardization of treatment methods, based on the results of clinical research by NIRS to date. Including NIRS, there are already five heavy particle beam treatment facilities in Japan, and all five facilities have joined together to establish the multi-facility joint research group (J-CROS), to work on the standardization of heavy particle beam treatment. This group is working on clinical research to demonstrate the validity of heavy particle beam treatment against various types of cancer, so that it can join the range of standard therapies.

Advancing heavy particle beam treatment with a rotating gantry

NIRS introduced a rotating gantry for heavy particle beam treatment in FY2015. This apparatus allows scanning irradiation with a heavy particle beam from any angle, and the use of superconducting magnets has succeeded in making the equipment much smaller than the leading German equipment. This system makes it possible to perform complex treatment from any angle, without moving the patient, and is expected to yield great advances in more advanced heavy particle beam treatment. Preparations are under way to start such treatment within FY2016.


Research Team

  • Clinical Research Team of Head & Neck and Thoracic tumor
  • Clinical Research Team of Abdominal tumor
  • Clinical Research Team of Pelvic tumor

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4-9-1 Anagawa, Inage-ku, Chiba-shi, Chiba 263-8555, Japan Tel: +81-43-206-3025 (outside of Japan), or 043-206-3025 (in Japan)