Focus on the Future : FLASH Therapy
Using a production system at the Mevion factory, the researchers delivered ultra-high dose rates of 226 Gy/s.
A collaborative research team from Mevion Medical Systems and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has begun research efforts into the evolving field of ultra-high dose rate therapy known as FLASH therapy. In a recent experiment at Mevion’s Massachusetts headquarters, the research team was able to deliver dose rates of 226 Gy/s on a production machine, well above the threshold for the FLASH regime of 40 Gy/s shown in pre-clinical studies and drastically higher than traditional proton therapy delivery rates of 2 Gy/min.
“We see the collaboration with our academic research partners like Washington University as critical to unlocking research in this field,” said Townsend Zwart, Ph.D., VP of Advanced Development at Mevion. “FLASH has the potential to be very impactful to proton therapy and we have been able to tune a Mevion production synchrocyclotron to deliver the beam characteristics our research partners need to advance this field.”
The Washington University research team was led by Tianyu Zhao, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology. The experiment was designed to assess the performance of the Mevion proton system and the techniques needed to advance pre-clinical research.
“We worked with the Mevion team to deliver a dose rate of 226 Gy/s at Bragg peak,” said Dr. Zhao. “We were also able to confirm this measurement through Monte Carlo modeling. Based on the data we collected, we are investigating new dosimetry instrumentation to better handle real-time measurements of these ultra-high dose regimes.”
The Mevion and Washington University research teams are in the planning stages of the next phase of experiments.