One Year Heidelberg Ion Therapy Centre (HIT)
Developed at GSI, the novel cancer therapy facility is in routine operation for one year now. - On November 2nd, 2009 the Heidelberg Ion Therapy Centre (HIT) celebrated its opening. Developed at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, the novel ion beam cancer therapy is available for a large number of patients for one year now. Until the opening of HIT, patients had been treated solely at the GSI treatment facility. Ion beam therapy is precise, highly effective and very gentle on the patient. HIT is operated by the Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg (University Hospital Heidelberg), where a special building with a floor space of 60 x 80 meters was constructed to hosts the new therapy facility. At the center a yearly number of 1,300 patients can be treated. Its accelerator facility and irradiation technology were developed and built by GSI scientists and engineers. The ion beam cancer treatment at HIT is one of a kind. Currently, the only other country offering ion beam cancer therapy is Japan, however, with a less effective irradiation technique. In the scope of a licence agreement between the GSI Helmholtzzentrum and Siemens AG, two more facilities modelled on HIT are under construction in Marburg and Kiel, Germany.