Proton therapy is a state-of-the-art cancer treatment using radiation therapy, which is one of the standard methods of treating cancers. Protons, which form the atomic nucleus of hydrogen atoms, are accelerated up to about 60 percent of the speed of light and irradiated at the tumor tissue. The highly focused target minimizes the influence on surrounding normal tissues.
Tsukuba University started clinical studies on proton therapy in 1983, the first to do so in Japan. The Proton Medical Research Center of our hospital has been operating since September 2001, the only proton therapy facility belonging to a university hospital in Japan. The Center has already treated about 3,000 patients, including those treated at the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization before our Center was started. The Center has treated nearly 1,000 patients with liver cancer, which is the cancer we treat most, followed by lung cancer and prostate cancer. Respiratory-gated radiotherapy, the current standard in the world, is a radiation method that was developed by our Center and that enables proton therapy to be used for the liver and the lung.
While proton therapy is very effective for localized tumors, it is not suitable for invasive cancers or multiple lesions. Instead, boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) is attracting attention, in which, in order to effectively destroy tumor tissue, neutrons are irradiated at a boron-compound target which is selectively taken in by tumor tissue. Our hospital now plans to construct a BNCT treatment facility next to the Proton Medical Research Center, which, when completed, will enable us to perform hybrid particle therapy that combines both techniques.
Our hospital, which was established in 1976, is a general hospital with 38 medical groups. We provide treatment and care through close cooperation among various medical staff members and specialists from different disciplines.
|Major Results Related to Cancer (Yearly)|
|Number of Newly Hospitalized Cancer Patients (2010)||4,627|
|Number of Malignant Tumor Surgeries (2010)||3,417|
|Number of Chemotherapies for Outpatients (2011)||8,273|
|Number of Radiation Therapies (2011)||16,252|
|Number of Proton Therapies (2011)|
|Total Therapies Administered||2,915|
|Number of New Patients||316|
In the medical treatment of cancer, we devise optimal treatment plans appropriate for every individual cancer in cooperation among multiple clinical departments, focused on the Comprehensive Cancer Center. Our chemotherapy regimen management system which reduces the risks accompanying cancer treatment, oral care to prevent infection, psychological support provided by cancer specialist nurses and clinical psychotherapists, and so forth can only be provided by a university hospital.
Regarding radiation therapies, in addition to proton therapy, we actively use intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). Furthermore, once the planned BNCT is installed, radiation therapy for even more types of cancers will become possible. We are also engaged in other innovative procedures. such as: advanced initiatives in autologous tumor vaccine therapy and therapeutic angiogenesis with peripheral blood stem cells; conducting trials for safe cancer treatments, such as 3D computer analysis support, and donor T-lymphocyte infusion with herpes virus and thymidine kinase for treating leukemia relapse after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; and promoting less-invasive treatments for patients, such as sentinel lymphadenectomy for breast cancer and endoscopic resection of large bowel cancers.
Dr. Tetsuya lgarashi
As a major university hospital, we are committed to the most advanced level of cancer treatment in the world, and to opening up new avenues of cancer treatment. Our university has one of the largest numbers of international students in Japan, while Tsukuba Science City has more than three times as many international residents as the average of all Japanese cities.
Internationalization is emphasized throughout the university, and we have created a cosmopolitan environment suitable for international students studying in Japan. In this cultural climate, we have a major responsibility as a national university hospital to provide top-level medical treatments in Japan to people around the world. Our hospital has also forged alliances with nearby medical organizations and facilities, allowing us to meet all patients’ needs.
Besides our broad-based, optimized medical treatment plan, we have been developing advanced treatment methods using our strengths as a university hospital. For arrhythmia, reliable treatment is possible thanks to accurate examinations by a magnetocardiogram that measures the weak magnetic fields emitted by the heart and with catheter ablation based on
such examination. The magnetocardiogram is a state-of-the-art medical examination technology provided by only a few facilities in Japan. Meanwhile, as treatments for chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis, we have been conducting clinical studies of liver regeneration and anti-fibrillization therapy using thrombopoietic agents. Once this treatment method is established, it will be possible to regenerate and normalize liver functions, which conventional treatments cannot achieve. This is attracting global attention for future drug development. In the field of orthopedics, we have developed a method of directly lengthening both nerve stumps as a new medical treatment for peripheral nerve gaps, and are now conducting clinical studies to confirm its safety and effectiveness. This method is suitable for cases where sufficient recovery cannot be obtained with a conventional free nerve graft, in which surgery is performed to attach a nerve expander to the damaged nerve to apply very slow traction, thus promoting nerve regeneration until the nerve becomes long enough for a suture operation.
|External View of Our Hospital||Proton Medical Research Center||Proton Therapy|
Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine,Gastrointestinal Medicine. Cardiovascular Medicine. Rheumatism, Neurology, Neuropsychiatry. Pediatrics, Pediatric Surgery, Dermatology, Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Respiratory Surgery, Cardiovascular Surgery, Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Urology, Ophthalmology, Otorhinolaryngology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Radiology, Anesthesiology, Dental Surgery
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2-1-1 Amakubo, Tsukuba-shi, lbaraki 305-8576
|5 minutes from Tsukuba Express
Tsukuba Station by car
25 minutes from
the JR Tsuchiura Station by car
|70 minutes from
Tokyo International Airport by car
55 minutes from lbaraki Airport by car