gms | German Medical Science

48th Meeting of the Particle Therapy Co-Operative Group

Particle Therapy Co-Operative Group (PTCOG)

28.09. - 03.10.2009, Heidelberg

Technical Commissioning – A Cost Driver in Particle Therapy

Meeting Abstract

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  • S. Schmidt - Varian Medical Systems Particle Therapy GmbH, Bergisch Gladbach
  • J. Heese - Varian Medical Systems Particle Therapy GmbH, Bergisch Gladbach

PTCOG 48. Meeting of the Particle Therapy Co-Operative Group. Heidelberg, 28.09.-03.10.2009. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2009. Doc09ptcog178

doi: 10.3205/09ptcog178, urn:nbn:de:0183-09ptcog1787

Published: September 24, 2009

© 2009 Schmidt et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



While the techniques in particle therapy steadily develop and are being made available to clinical users, cost of PT centers has not significantly reduced. A good fraction of the cost can be related to the high-end techniques involved. However, another cost driver arises from the need of adjusting and commissioning the equipment at the customer site. For any kind of system, calibration depends on many parameters, e.g. beam energy, gantry angle, dose rate, field size, modulation depth, accessory devices, etc., each of them acting as a multiplier for the measurements and adjustments to be performed.

Such a situation calls for process automation. Therefore, one important development project at Varian Medical Systems is the automation and improvement of commissioning and calibration processes. The goal is to reduce technical commissioning times and cost. In addition, by the development of improved QA tools for customers, we intend to maximize effective clinical availability of the machine. An outline of automation features is presented together with an analysis of their effectiveness.