FLOWER MOUND, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ProTom International ("ProTom") is pleased to announce its accelerated focus on the installation of its Radiance 330® Proton Therapy System ("Radiance 330") to be housed in the Massachusetts General Hospital ("MGH") Department of Radiation Oncology. For the first time, advanced scanning-beam technology that’s more affordable than ever is being installed inside a radiation-shielded vault embedded within an existing, operational radiation oncology department -- a solution that enables the facility to share clinical staff, ancillary equipment, and patient support areas.
Beginning last Fall, modifications were made inside two empty linac vaults that were reserved for future expansion, preparing the space for the new proton therapy suite. Adapting the unique technology to the space and occupancy constraints of the operational clinical facility was made possible partially due to the lower neutron emissions of the compact synchrotron accelerator. A reduction in the footprint of the treatment room due to the smaller gantry, as well as the highly-efficient scanning proton beam have each helped reduce shielding costs in the facility. Stray radiation has a major impact on shielding requirements and facility design, and Radiance 330 has some of the lowest levels in the industry.
On site, the equipment support and alignment components have been installed, and the pre-installation utility infrastructure has been completed and accepted. Nearby, at ProTom’s assembly and test facility, equipment assembly, integration, testing and optimization are underway in preparation for installation on site. The synchrotron has been assembled and tested for all energies up to and including 330 MeV. A new, custom-designed power supply has been factory tested and demonstrated to provide power to the synchrotron for acceleration of protons to energies of up to 330 MeV, ensuring that the system is “future-ready,” having already been prepped for proton radiography techniques. Radiance 330 is the only system that will be capable of proton imaging for all patients and all treatment sites, once the optional capability is released to production.
ProTom is currently working on the Radiance 330’s interface with a new and unique, combined 2D/3D imaging and positioning system. The system, selected by the hospital, features a cone beam CT image guidance ring atop a custom designed robotic patient positioner. The system will be controlled through Radiance 330 workflow management software for seamless automation of clinical operation. Over the past several months ProTom has commenced design of its own hand pendant for system control, which shall be honed to accommodate user input and MGH-specific - functionality. The pendant interfaces with ProTom’s software governing workflow management and motion control. ProTom’s proprietary Treatment Delivery Control System (TDCS) shall interface directly with MGH’s in-house information and workflow management software (Whiteboard).
ProTom’s accelerated focus on the MGH project comes after successfully completing its restructuring and recapitalization as offered through the Chapter 11 process, and throughout the reorganization MGH has sustained its full support to ProTom for successful project completion. The new MGH proton facility is expected to be completed and could begin treating patients in 2017.
"With unprecedented financial strength, new owners and corporate governance, ProTom is better positioned to deliver this advanced, affordable and adaptable proton therapy technology to more hospitals and physician practices," said Stephen Spotts, ProTom’s Chief Executive Officer. "Our new capital structure will better support ProTom’s continued investment in delivering innovative proton therapy solutions, and will provide a stronger foundation to execute on our strategic plans. We are no longer a startup company, and with our new financial sponsors we have truly turned international in our focus. Our new owners intend to bring this technology to an international market truly poised to take advantage of this highly sought-after proton therapy solution. Due to our reorganization, we will now have the resources we need. Nothing has changed in regard to our 510(k)–cleared equipment; what has changed is bringing in-house our own designs such as our new hand pendant, beam transport system, beam delivery system, and several mission-critical software modules. Our new power supply ensures that systems we install will be ready for proton tomography, and we expect many of our future customers will be interested in the newly interfaced cone-beam CT and patient positioning system.”
Mr. Spotts continued, “We are very confident going into this project since it is not our first. During our alpha project, while we readily achieved proton beam within 30 days of accelerator installation, generated scanning beam at gantry isocenter 12 months later, and achieved FDA clearance 15 months later, we were challenged with some mechanical issues on Radiance 330’s revolutionary compact gantry; ironing-out these issues benefitted us – resulting in design modifications that have already been incorporated into this and future projects. New procedures and algorithms have been successfully implemented for streamlining beam optics commissioning. This will dramatically facilitate and expedite the technical commissioning required on each of our future projects. We have also been performing mock treatments, validating our system’s workflow efficiency and throughput, a critical need for all our future customers. ProTom is a company devoted to proton therapy as its sole mission; this is all we do. We thank our customers, partners, and suppliers for their confidence and support throughout this process, and in particular we thank our employees for their focus and dedication to this mission.”
About ProTom International
ProTom is a privately held company developing innovative solutions for proton beam radiation therapy. ProTom has offices in Flower Mound, Texas and Wakefield, Massachusetts. ProTom believes this proprietary technology will significantly lower the capital and operating costs of proton therapy centers and accelerate the adoption of this clinically-advanced treatment technology in the fight against cancer. Developing and delivering leading-edge proton therapy technology is not only what we do, it is all we do. Our medical device operations are headquartered in the USA — from which all of our design, manufacturing, and service divisions are currently managed and operated. To find out more about the future of proton therapy, visit us at www.protominternational.com.