Improving proton therapy for cancer patients
Kongsberg Beam Technology has entered an agreement with the Research Council of Norway to develop precision technology for proton therapy centres.
The grant will secure the company a total of NOK 23 million in support to develop a technology that improves the accuracy of proton therapy in combating cancer.
Many cancer patients receive radiotherapy treatment to destroy the cancer cells. The big negative side-effect is that healthy cells around the tumour are also damaged.
Proton therapy is more precise, which means that there is less damage to healthy tissue and organs surrounding the cancer. This reduces the unwanted side effects and improves the quality of life for the patient.
Kongsberg Beam Technology has developed a technology that increases the accuracy of proton therapy, even when the patient or their organs may be moving, for example while their lungs are breathing.
The technology creates a digital twin, a virtual copy of the patient. The digital twin gives a dynamic and predictive real-time image while the tumour is treated with proton therapy. This makes the treatment even more exact than before.
The system is called MAMA-K, which is short for Multi-Array Multi-Axis Cancer Combat Machine. The machine treats the tumour with several proton beams at the same time and is especially adapted for organs in motion. The system can be plugged into both current and new proton machines.
“The MAMA-K system will be clinically beneficial and yield significantly improved treatment effects to patients compared to state-of-the-art systems and procedures,” said Karsten Rydén-Eilertsen, Ph.D. Head of Section, Department of Medical Physics at Oslo University Hospital.
Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator has assisted Kongsberg Beam Technology with business development advice and help in pursuing funding opportunities.
“The support from Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator has been vital in reaching where we are today,” says Per Håvard Kleven, the founder of Kongsberg Beam Technology.
Semcon is another important collaboration partner, who is responsible for the technical and digital development of the project.
The first phase of the project will last until 2022. This has begun with securing the proof-of-concept, which means that Kongsberg Beam Technology has demonstrated that the concept has a verified practical potential. Now, a prototype is in development, which will be used to test the system. During phase 2 of the project, the system will be tested and verified until 2024 to prove that it works.
Norway currently does not have any proton therapy centres, but two are already in the planning stages. One will be in Oslo, at the Norwegian Radium Hospital, and one in Bergen, at Haukeland University Hospital. The first Norwegian cancer patients will be treated with proton therapy in 2024.
The MAMA-K system that Kongsberg Beam Technology are developing will be tested at The Norwegian Radium Hospital, a part of Oslo University Hospital.
Other collaboration partners are the University of Oslo and Onsagers.
- Read more about our member Kongsberg Beam Technology and the technology MAMA-K in Teknisk Ukeblad (In Norwegian)