Synchrotron and hadrontherapy are ideally suited to treat tumours that are deep-seated, located close to critical organs and respond poorly to conventional photon or electron radiotherapy.
CNAO’s ‘High Technology’ components consist of a set of accelerators and transport lines of particle beams. The beams are generated by sources that produce carbon ions and protons. The most important accelerator machine is the Synchrotron. The synchrotron at CNAO is a prototype resulting from the research in high energy physics made possible through the collaboration of the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), CERN (Switzerland), GSI (Germany), LPSC (France) and of the University of Pavia University (Italy). It is based mostly on Italian technology.
The particle beam is accelerated in the synchrotron and travels about 30,000 kilometers in a half second to reach the desired energy. The beams are then sent to one of the three treatment rooms. Above this station there is a magnet of 150 tons which bends 90 degrees the particle beam and directs it from above to the person to be healed.
The National Centre of Oncology (CNAO) was created with the goal of treating tumors by using protons and carbon ion particles belonging to the category of hadrons.
The CNAO Foundation is also a Centre of Research and Development, whose activities range from clinical and radiobiological research to translational research with the objective of providing continual improvements in the capacity to cure.
Following-up all the patients after hadron-therapy in the Centre and in all the hadron-therapy Centres around the world, the effectiveness of the therapy will be established. This knowledge will affect therapy protocols, with by-products on Centre technologies.
The prices, extremely low in Italy, vary from 20.500 to 40.000 €, depending on the treatment.