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The University of Tsukuba: Pioneer of a worldwide standard in proton therapy

University of Tsukuba began full-scale clinical research in proton therapy in 1983, as the first facility in Japan to pursue research in the field. The university has achieved a number of significant developments in the field, in particular internationally pioneering the use of proton therapy to treat cancerous liver tumors and other tumors deep inside the body by developing the treatment method known as respiratory-gated radiotherapy, which is now highly regarded and considered as a worldwide standard in proton therapy.

A significant characteristic of proton therapy is that the proton-beam can be targeted at a tumor with pinpoint precision such that the healthy cells surrounding it are left undamaged and only mild side effects are produced. As this therapy minimizes the physical side effects on the patient, it can be a highly effective means of treating aged or frail cancer patients with complications such as a heart disease. Proton therapy is also a good method for treating and helping to ensure a healthy future for children or young cancer patients, because the risks that it will inhibit their physical growth and development or cause secondary cancer are low.

As the Proton Beam Therapy Center is part of University of Tsukuba Hospital, the center staff are able to cooperate closely with doctors and medical practitioners specializing in internal medicine, surgery, and a number of other fields, working in teams and adopting a multidisciplinary perspective in order to provide the best possible therapy. There is no universal method of treating cancer and each patient needs to receive treatment that has been adapted to their individual condition. We place the utmost importance on providing the most suitable means of treatment for each patient by carefully examining their physical and mental condition, such as their symptoms, age, physical strength, or ways of thinking about medical treatment.

Cancer treatments today generally adopt a combination of methods such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment, utilizing the elements of each method which are most suited to treating the patient’s condition. Proton therapy can be used as part of such combined treatment methods to ensure that patients maintain a good quality of life.

Through our clinical practice and research, we strive to assist a greater number of patients by providing and developing proton therapy. If you are considering proton therapy as a treatment option, please do not hesitate to consult with us.

Hideyuki Sakurai Director, Proton Beam Therapy Center,
University of Tsukuba Hospital

History

1973 National Laboratory for High Energy Physics (KEK) currently the High-Energy Accelerator Research Organization proposes particle therapy using a largescale proton accelerator.
1975 KEK, the National Institute of Radiological Sciences, and University of Tsukuba agree to implement a particle therapy project.
1976 The “Working Group for Research in Medical and Biological Use of High LET Particles” is established at University of Tsukuba. The group is renamed the “Preparatory Committee for the Committee for Study of Biological and Chemical Use of High-LET Radiation” in December, and the particle therapy project is developed as a university-wide initiative.
1977 A joint experiment using a large-scale proton accelerator commences.
1979 The project organization is renamed the Particle Medical Center, with the project duration set as ten years.
1982 A proton facility is built, and work is commenced on proton experiments on living creatures.
1983 The world’s first clinical study using a vertical beam begins.
1990 The Particle Medical Center reaches the end of its tenyear duration, and the Proton Medical Use Research Center is established in its place.
2001 A new facility is built at University of Tsukuba Hospital and becomes the new location of the Proton Medical Use Research Center.
2004 The Proton Medical Use Research Center is made an affiliated organization of the hospital following the reorganization of the university as a national university corporation
2008 Proton therapy is recognized as an advanced medical treatment.
2014 The Proton Beam Therapy Center is established as a clinical department.

Treatment results

As of March 2017, the Proton Beam Therapy Center has treated 4,903 patients, including those treated by the National Laboratory for High Energy Physics (KEK) -currently known as the High-Energy Accelerator Research Organization- between 1983 and 2000. The largest portion of cases treated were cases of liver cancer, followed by prostate cancer and lung cancer. Our center provides proton therapy for any condition in which the therapy can be effectively applied to the tumor.

The number of patients treated: 4,903 cases

Our Medical Staff

At the Proton Therapy Center, University of Tsukuba Hospital, we strive to provide the best possible treatment for each patient through close collaboration between three teams of medical staff (physicians, medical physicists, and radiologists) and specialist nursing staff.

Our Physicians

Our physicians are specialists with extensive knowledge and experience in a number of fields related to radiation therapy, including fundamental radiology, diagnostic oncology, clinical oncology (internal medicine, surgery, etc.), and radiation control. They apply these specialist backgrounds to the provision of proton therapy, striving to ensure that each patient receives the best medical treatment while also maintaining a good quality of life. The physician in charge of treatment discusses and shares information on courses of treatment and treatment plans with other physicians and medical staff at daily meetings. They also collaborate with specialist physicians in each department of University of Tsukuba Hospital, establishing a framework for the appropriate treatment of various medical conditions.

Hideyuki Sakurai, Director, Proton Therapy Center
Physician/Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology

Hideyuki Sakurai

Director, Proton Therapy Center Physician/Professor,
Department of Radiation Oncology
Koji Tsuboi, Physician/Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology

Koji Tsuboi

Physician/Professor,
Department of Radiation Oncology
Toshiyuki Okumura, Physician/Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology

Toshiyuki Okumura

Physician/Clinical Professor,
Department of Radiation Oncology
Hitoshi Ishikawa, Physician/Associate Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology

Hitoshi Ishikawa

Physician/Associate Professor,
Department of Radiation Oncology

Teruhito Aihara, Physician/Associate  Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology

Teruhito Aihara

Physician/Associate Professor,
Department of Radiation Oncology
Nobuyoshi Fukumitsu, Physician/Associate  Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology

Nobuyoshi Fukumitsu

Physician/Associate Professor,
Department of Radiation Oncology
Masashi Mizumoto, Physician/ Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology

Masashi Mizumoto

Physician/ Clinical Assistant Professor,
Department of Radiation Oncology
Kayoko Onishi, Physician/Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology

Kayoko Onishi

Physician/Assistant Professor,
Department of Radiation Oncology

Haruko Numajiri, Physician/Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology

Haruko Numajiri

Physician/Clinical Assistant Professor,
Department of Radiation Oncology
Daichi Takizawa, Physician/Resident, Department of Radiation Oncology

Daichi Takizawa

Physician/Resident,
Department of Radiation Oncology
Takashi Saito, Physician/Resident, Department of Radiation Oncology

Takashi Saito

Physician/Resident,
Department of Radiation Oncology
Keiichi Tanaka, Physician/Resident, Department of Radiation Oncology

Keiichi Tanaka

Physician/Resident,
Department of Radiation Oncology

Reiko Kanuma, Physician/Resident, Department of Radiation Oncology

Reiko Kanuma

Physician/Resident,
Department of Radiation Oncology
Kosei Miura, Physician/Resident,
				 Department of Radiation Oncology

Kosei Miura

Physician/Resident,
Department of Radiation Oncology
Takashi Iizumi, Physician/Resident,
         Department of Radiation Oncology

Takashi Iizumi

Physician/Resident,
Department of Radiation Oncology
Yuta Sekino, Physician/Resident,
                 Department of Radiation Oncology

Yuta Sekino

Physician/Resident,
Department of Radiation Oncology

Daigo Miyauchi, Physician/Resident,
                 Department of Radiation Oncology

Daigo Miyauchi

Physician/Resident,
Department of Radiation Oncology
Tsohiki Ishida, Physician/Resident,
                 Department of Radiation Oncology

Toshiki Ishida

Physician/Resident,
Department of Radiation Oncology
Shousei Shimizu, Physician/Resident,
                 Department of Radiation Oncology

Syousei Shimizu

Physician/Resident,
Department of Radiation Oncology
Masatoshi Nakamura, Physician/Resident,
                 Department of Radiation Oncology

Masatoshi Nakamura

Physician/Resident,
Department of Radiation Oncology

Yuichi Hiroshima, Physician/Resident,
                 Department of Radiation Oncology

Yuichi Hiroshima

Physician/Resident,
Department of Radiation Oncology
Keiichiro Baba, Physician/Resident,
                 Department of Radiation Oncology

Keiichiro Baba

Physician/Resident,
Department of Radiation Oncology
Motohiro Murakami, Physician/Resident,
                 Department of Radiation Oncology

Motohiro Murakami

Physician/Resident,
Department of Radiation Oncology

Our Medical Physicists

Our team of medical physicists engages in the provision of proton therapy alongside the physicians, ensuring that proton beams are administered accurately and efficiently by devising detailed proton-dosing plans suited to the medical condition of each patient. The team strives to raise the accuracy of treatment and alleviate the physical side effects on the patient by conducting simulations before beginning treatment in order to confirm the suitable dose, angle, and other aspects regarding the proton beam. During treatment a tumor continually changes its shape as it gradually decreases in size. By processing data on the shape of the tumor as four-dimensional images, and combining such data with an advanced technique for calculating the distribution of the radiation dose, the team conducts research to provide the best treatment suited to each situation, as well as to develop new radiation techniques with increased levels of precision and safety.

Takeji Sakae, Professor

Takeji Sakae

Professor
Hiroaki Kumada, Associate Professor

Hiroaki Kumada

Associate Professor
Kiyoshi Yasuoka, Assistant Professor

Kiyoshi Yasuoka

Assistant Professor
Toshiyuki Terunuma, Assistant Lecturer

Toshiyuki Terunuma

Assistant Lecturer

Tomonori Isobe, Professor

Tomonori Isobe

Professor
Kenta Takada, Assistant Professor

Kenta Takada

Assistant Professor
Yutaro Mori, Radiological Assistant Professor

Yutaro Mori

Assistant Professor
Hideyuki Takei, Clinical Assistant Professorr

Hideyuki Takei

Clinical Assistant Professor

Satoshi Kamizawa, Researcher

Satoshi Kamizawa

Researcher

Our Radiological Technologists and Nurses

Our team of radiological technologists and nurses is responsible for the actual administration of treatment using proton beams. These medical staff have the most contact with patients during the treatment period. All of the team members work to establish a system by which every task is conducted with the same technical expertise. In addition to administering proton beams accurately according to the treatment plan, team members monitor the administration at all times by computer. The radiology team recognizes the importance of effective communication and strives to ensure that patients receive treatment at ease by creating an environment which is both cheerful and fosters a sense of trust.

Masaru Sato, Radiological Technologist

Masaru Sato

Radiological Technologist
Katsuhisa Hosono, Radiological Technologist

Katsuhisa Hosono

Radiological Technologist
Toshio Miyamoto, Radiological Technologist

Toshio Miyamoto

Radiological Technologist
Shinya Ishida, Radiological Technologist

Shinya Ishida

Radiological Technologist

Yosuke Yoshimura, Radiological Technologist

Yosuke Yoshimura

Radiological Technologist
Junichi Koketsu, Radiological Technologist

Junichi Koketsu

Radiological Technologist
Kaori Ayuzawa, Nurse

Kaori Ayuzawa

Nurse
Yumika Ishikawa, Nurse

Yumika Ishikawa

Nurse
  • Greetings
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  • The stages of pre-treatment preparation
  • The main conditions treated with proton therapy
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