Heidelberg University Hospital in Germany has partnered with Raysearch Laboratories to use RayStation for helium ion therapy planning at its Ion Beam Therapy Center.

RayStation is said to be the first commercial treatment planning system designed for helium ion therapy.

By deploying the system, Heidelberg University Hospital’s Ion Beam Therapy Center will be the first cancer centre with helium in Europe and first with pencil-beam scanning (PBS) delivery globally.

The cancer centre acquired licenses for helium PBS from RaySearch in March 2018 and plans to carry out a clinical study involving 20-50 patients starting next year. This clinical study is meant to assess the effectiveness of helium ion therapy for cancer.

RayStation is designed to provide support for optimisation and assessment, dose tracking, along with all support delivered for proton and carbon ion therapy.

A pencil beam dose algorithm on the graphic processing unit is used for physical dose calculation while local effect model or microdosimetric kinetics model is used to establish relative biological effective dose.

Heidelberg University Hospital department of radiation oncology chairman Dr Juergen Debus said: “It will now be possible to integrate helium treatment planning into our precision radiotherapy programme including modern photon and particle beams on the RayStation platform and seamlessly optimise the treatment for every patient.”

The hospital provides diagnosis and treatment for inpatients and outpatients with different diseases.

RaySearch founder and CEO Johan Löf said: “Heidelberg has been an important clinical partner for RaySearch for several years, and it’s exciting to enter clinic trials for helium ion therapy with the esteemed team in Germany.

“Collaboration on this level is the drive force of innovation within precision health care and a cornerstone of our approach to innovation.”

RaySearch is a medical technology company focused on developing software solutions for cancer care.