EEI COLLABORATES TO DEVELOP MEDAUSTRON. ONE OF THE MOST ADVANCED CENTERS FOR ION BEAM THERAPY AND RESEARCH IN EUROPE.

Technological progress in recent years has led to an evolution in all areas of medicine and has significantly influenced radiation oncology.

Customer: EBG MedAustron GmbH Marie Curie-Straße 5 – A-2700 Wiener Neustadt – Österreich Internet: www.medaustron.at 
Supply: power converters for particle accelerator magnets
Year: 
2012-2014
Place of installation: Wiener Neustadt, Austria

Today, a new frontier in radiation therapy is represented by the Hadron-therapy which is the use of protons and atomic nuclei (ions) called hadrons (from the Greek hadrós, strong) subjected to a strong nuclear force.

The main advantages of Hadron-therapy compared to traditional radiotherapy include:

• Selective targeting – The energy release (and thus the destruction of cells) is done selectively, targeting only specific cancer cells. The damage incurred in the patient’s body on initial penetration is relatively small and the significant release of energy is confined only to the area where the cancer is located (a phenomenon referred to as the Bragg Peak). This procedure maximizes the destruction of cancerous tissue while minimizing any collateral effects on healthy tissue.

• Minimized damage to surrounding tissue – The beam of hadronic particles remains collimated as it penetrates the patient’s tissue. The precise collimation of the beam of hadrons minimizes any damage to the surrounding healthy tissue.

• Total destruction of designated cancerous cells – The energy release mechanism for Hadron-therapy causes a large amount of ruptures on the chemical bonds in the biological macromolecules, mostly in the DNA. The DNA has the ability to repair itself but if the number of broken bonds is sufficient it will lose this ability causing the cells to remain inactive and die. In conventional radiotherapy the DNA damage is moderate; on the contrary when applying Hadron-therapy with carbon ions the number of ruptures afflicted allows for a total destruction of the tumour.

These three advantages result in a destructive effect on the biological tissues, which is why it’s extremely important that the target (tumour) must be aimed at with a degree of accuracy much greater than what associated with conventional radiotherapy.
One of the most advanced centers for Ion Beam Therapy and Research in Europe is currently being built in Wiener Neustadt. It’s the MedAustron therapy center. The radiation therapies applied will use protons and carbon ions. Technical tests will take place starting from the year 2013. The first treatments on patients are planned for the end of 2015.
During a full operational phase, 1400 people are expected to benefit from the international first class medicine offered by MedAustron. This exciting new project will give many cancer patients a new opportunity for effective treatment using the ion beam therapy.

MedAustron has chosen EEI as their primary partner to build state of the art converters that power the magnets used in their treatment center. EEI has supplied 90% of all converters in the facility, excluding standard commercialized units. These special units have been developed in collaboration with CERN, having the highest adherence to technical specifications given by the researchers, requiring top-level dynamic response, precision and reliability. The main electronic control units have been developed within a collaboration of CERN, PSI and CRB (Control Regulation Board).
This project has once again confirmed EEI’s position within the leading companies providing special power supplies. The experience gained in the past 15 years allows EEI to meet the customer’s highest demands, with utmost reliability.