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SPINNER products for ion beam therapy and research

MedAustron, one of Europe’s most advanced centers for ion beam therapy and research, opened in Wiener Neustadt south of Vienna, Austria in 2011. In addition to treating patients in clinical trials, the center also hosts nonclinical research. Currently there were only three other facilities in the world that provide radiation therapy with either protons or carbon ions at a single site.

The first cancer patients received radiation therapy in 2016 on an outpatient basis. Since the center was completed and began operating at full capacity, up to 1400 patients a year have been treated with this advanced approach. It has opened a new, hopeful front in the war against cancer.

MedAustron also contains SPINNER products

SPINNER, leveraging its many years of experience in the field of radio frequency technology, produced coaxial RF rigid lines for the ion therapy center. In cooperation with CERN, the European nuclear research center, we planned and produced 3 1/8″ EIA and 6 1/8″ EIA RF rigid lines on schedule and then installed them on-site from the klystron to the particle accelerator.

The MedAustron system was yet another high-energy project to which SPINNER has contributed. We have been developing and supplying special RF rigid lines for a variety of fusion research projects since 1967 and are proud to continue supporting cancer research and treatment today.

Therapy at MedAustron

MedAustron practices an innovative form of radiation therapy called ion therapy. An important benefit is that exposure of the healthy tissue in front of the tumor to the radiation can be reduced and almost completely eliminated behind it. Since this approach significantly reduces unwanted side effects, it is an excellent way to treat tumors near radiation-sensitive organs.

The technology

Highly complex, specially developed state-of-the-art systems are wielded to battle cancer. The MedAustron facility contains a therapy section, an accelerator area, and its own research lab. At its heart is state-of-the-art equipment developed at MedAustron in cooperation with a variety of university and industry partners.

Charged particles are pre-accelerated in a linear accelerator and passed throught to a circular particle accelerator about 80 m across called a synchrotron. It increases the velocity of the protons to two thirds of the speed of light before feeding them, depending on the necessary treatment, into one of four irradiation rooms. Two of them have horizontal beams while one is equipped with a fixed vertical beam and the fourth is equipped with a mobile “gantry” for precisely aiming the beam.

The synchrotron: a circular particle accelerator with a circumference of approx. 80 m

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