News Release

Manufacturing of the Superconducting Synchrotron for the ”Quantum Scalpel system”

~The smallest machine of the heavy-ion radiotherapy~

  • Heavy Ion Therapy
  • Nuclear Power
  • New Technology

April 13, 2023

Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation
National Institutes for Quantum Science and Technology
Mizuho-Toshiba Leasing Company, Limited

Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation (hereinafter “Toshiba ESS”) and Mizuho-Toshiba Leasing Company, Limited (hereinafter “MTL”) signed a lease agreement with National Institutes for Quantum Science and Technology (hereinafter “QST”) for a demonstration device of ”Quantum Scalpel system”, and Toshiba ESS started manufacturing a superconducting synchrotron for the ”Quantum Scalpel system” under a manufacturing contract with MTL on March 28, 2023.

Toshiba ESS will manufacture the superconducting synchrotron by the end of FY2026 and install it in the Quantum Scalpel Building (tentative name) in Chiba, which is under construction by QST. After obtaining approval under the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law*1 and other relevant approvals, QST plans to begin clinical operation of this demonstration system. The ”Quantum Scalpel system” will be the world's smallest*2 heavy ion therapy system.

The Quantum Scalpel*3, the new generation of heavy ion therapy system that has been developed since 2016 by QST and others, will achieve a revolutionary reduction in size compared to conventional systems through the application of superconductivity technology. Toshiba ESS has been developing technologies related to superconductivity for many years and has made steady achievements in the field of heavy ion radiotherapy systems, including the development and delivery of a rotating gantry using superconductivity technology in 2016 with the QST.

Since 2019, Toshiba ESS has been involved in the superconducting magnet prototype and basic design of a superconducting synchrotron accelerator, one of the core technologies of the Quantum Scalpel, in collaboration with QST. This superconducting synchrotron accelerator is also compatible with multi-ion therapy*4, another core technologies of the Quantum Scalpel.

Toshiba ESS will design, manufacture, install and tests superconducting synchrotron, and perform system control. QST will design and perform testing of the beam of the Quantum Scalpel.

MTL also collaborates with Toshiba ESS, and is responsible for renting the demonstration machine of the Quantum Scalpel to QST after the completion of testing by Toshiba ESS. This will be the world's first*5 superconducting synchrotron for heavy ion therapy system.

The three parties work to promote the use of heavy ion radiotherapy by advance the manufacturing the demonstration machine of the quantum scalpel and contribute to the realizing a "zero cancer deaths and a healthy, long-lived society" which is the goal of the QST.

Fig. Roadmap to the realization of the Quantum Scalpel system

Background of the Quantum Scalpel system

QST has been conducting research related to heavy ion radiotherapy for over 25 years and has treated over14,000 patients. As result, head and neck, liver, prostate, rectal (post-operative), pancreatic cancers, cervical adenocarcinoma, and bone and soft tissue sarcoma can be now covered by national health insurance in Japan. In addition, patients’ quality of life (QOL) was improved due to hypofractionation, shortening treatment time from 6 weeks to 1 day in case of lung cancer.

These results have led to the increase in heavy ion therapy facilities in Japan and overseas. Presently, around 3,600 patients are treated annually at 7 facilities in Japan. However, this number is still only 0.4% of new cases in Japan or 0.02% of all new cases in the world.

In order to increase the treatment effectiveness of all cancers, where heavy ion radiotherapy can be applied, and to deliver this treatment to more patients, there is a need for a compact heavy ion radiotherapy device that can provide advanced treatment. QST drives forward research and development of the Quantum Scalpel, a next-generation heavy ion radiotherapy system named comparing quantum beam to the scalpel for the tumor removal surgery.


*1 Act on Quality, Efficacy and Safety Assurance of Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices, etc.
*2 As of April 2023, based on three parties research
*3, *4
*5 As of April 2023, based on three parties research


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