JACKSONVILLE, Florida and TOKYO, Japan — Mayo Clinic and Hitachi, Ltd.have reached an agreement in principle to build a carbon ion treatment facility as part of Mayo Clinic's recently announced integrated oncology facility which will be constructed at Mayo Clinic's campus in Jacksonville, Florida.
While carbon ion therapy was discovered in the United States in the 1970s, there currently are no carbon ion therapy treatment centers in North America. The technology is only available at a handful of centers in Asia and Europe.
"As a leading NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, with locations in Florida, Minnesota and Arizona, Mayo Clinic is uniquely qualified to bring carbon ion therapy to the United States," says Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., president and CEO of Mayo Clinic. "Carbon ion therapy has tremendous potential as a tool for treating patients with challenging cancers that do not respond well to currently available therapies."
"Making new and innovative treatments available to patients with serious or complex health care needs is part of our DNA at Mayo Clinic," says Kent Thielen, M.D., CEO of Mayo Clinic in Florida. "We are proud to build on our long-standing relationship with Hitachi to make carbon ion therapy available to patients who will benefit from this technology."
Steven Buskirk, M.D., chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Mayo Clinic in Florida says," the availability of carbon ion technology will allow Mayo Clinic researchers to evaluate the efficacy of carbon ion therapy for the treatment of various cancer types including exploration into new and expanded therapies, including multi-modality treatment options."
Keiji Kojima, Ph.D., executive vice president and executive officer at Hitachi, Ltd. says, "I am extremely honored to introduce North America's first carbon ion facility at Mayo Clinic in Florida. Hitachi has several carbon facilities in Japan already treating patients and plans for installation of two more facilities in Asia. We are confident through our carbon experience, digital technology and the existing partnership with Mayo Clinic that we will continue to contribute to cancer treatment and increase our customer’s social value in the United States and across the globe. We look forward to enhancing our continued partnership with Mayo Clinic."
"Carbon ion therapy belongs to a family of particle therapies which include protons, helium and other ions. Carbon ion therapy has the capability of killing cancer cells which are resistant to traditional radiation therapy. This capability combined with the ability to precisely deposit this treatment into the resistant tumor while minimizing the dose to adjacent normal tissue make it ideal to treat cancerous tumors in sensitive parts of the body," says Nadia Laack M.D. chair of the Department of Radiology Oncology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota. Dr. Laack says "Mayo Clinic radiation oncologists and physicists have been studying carbon ion treatment in Asia and Europe for nearly a decade and have already developed a high level of expertise in treatment planning and delivery. "
Background: 9 key facts about carbon ion therapy at Mayo Clinic
1. Mayo Clinic is announcing plans to make carbon ion therapy available on its campus in Jacksonville, Florida. Carbon ion therapy will be part of the recently announced integrated oncology facility on the Jacksonville campus. The $233-million integrated oncology facility will include chemotherapy, standard radiation, proton beam therapy and carbon ion therapy. This integrated oncology facility will be the only one of its kind in North America.
2. Mayo Clinic is the only multi-site NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, with locations in Florida, Arizona and Minnesota.
3. The establishment of a carbon ion therapy program at Mayo Clinic is part of ongoing efforts to use heavy particle therapies for cancer treatment. It is a result of a long-time collaboration with Hitachi.
4. Carbon ion therapy belongs to a family of particle therapies which include protons, helium and other ions. Carbon ions have a mass 12 times the weight and size of proton ions and are much more destructive to cancer cells and tumors.
5. There may be some types of cancer that are resistant to proton beam therapy that may be more effectively treated with carbon ion therapy. Like proton therapy, carbon therapy has the potential to destroy cancer cells within a tumor without damaging the surrounding tissue.
6. Carbon ion therapy is not FDA approved. Working with Hitachi, Mayo Clinic will undertake a robust scientific evaluation and analysis of the capability of this technology and identify which cancers would be most appropriate for treatment. Mayo Clinic will work with Hitachi to obtain FDA approval of this technology.
7. Mayo Clinic also will work with Hitachi to identify other opportunities to use this technology to best treat patients.
8. Proton beam therapy will be available at the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville campus in 2025, and we anticipate carbon ion therapy will be available after that time.
9. An outdated form of carbon ion therapy was developed in the United States and used from a research standpoint until it was discontinued in the early 1990s, even though it was shown to have promise. The scientific and published data from Europe and Asia indicate this technology is worthy of study in the United States.