Nano-X cancer radiotherapy system

What if ... precision cancer radiation therapy didn't have to cost so much?

Nano-X


Radiotherapy is the recommended treatment for about half of all cancer patients. Less than one third actually receive it, meaning that millions of people around the world miss out – every year. There is a massive global demand for affordable radiotherapy machines. 21,800 new machines are needed by 2035 to augment and replace the 13,100 in use today.

Nano-X is a new class of radiotherapy system that will deliver significant cost reductions, by introducing state-of-the-art clinical radiotherapy precision with a machine that has a significantly smaller footprint, much reduced shielding requirements and lower staff-to-patient ratios. We do this with fixed treatment and imaging beams, and a custom-made patient rotation system.

The Nano-X system solves the complex problem of how to target a tumour with precision and accuracy even as the patient’s anatomy changes during treatment. Our system is built with real-time imaging guidance and adaptation at the heart of the treatment process; and complex processing tasks have been moved from hardware to software, enabling radical changes to machine design. Together, these innovations will ensure better treatment outcomes and increased safety and reliability.

Comparison of the Nano-X machine (left) versus a conventional machine (right) highlighting

Comparison of the Nano-X machine (left) versus a conventional machine (right) highlighting the machine footprint, size and room shielding differences.

Milestones

  • The prototype of the Nano-X radiotherapy system was installed and commissioned early in 2017. It consists of a bespoke patient rotation system and a refurbished LINAC with on-board imaging capabilities. It is housed in a dedicated research bunker at the Nelune Comprehensive Cancer Centre (Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, NSW).The imaging and rotation system is now being tested and optimised.
  • An NHMRC Development grant, Nano-X: A new class of cancer radiotherapy system, was awarded to the Nano-X team in November 2016.
  • A $2.5M Medical Device Fund Grant was awarded in October 2016 to Nano-X, a company founded to further develop the Nano-X cancer radiotherapy technology.

Funding and Collaborators

The Nano-X prototype was funded through an Australian Research Council LIEF grant. The development of the prototype is being funded by an NHMRC Development grant.

The Nano-X Cancer Radiotherapy Machine Program is a joint collaboration between The University of Sydney and The Nelune Comprehensive Cancer Centre with additional support from the Northern Sydney Cancer Centre and Westmead Hospital.

Clinical Trials

An upcoming trial sponsored by the University of Sydney and located at the Nelune Comprehensive Cancer Centre will assess the patient experience of rotation to understand whether the system can be improved.

Research Opportunities

PhD Project: Building Nano-X: A smaller and smarter cancer treatment machine

For more information and enquiries contact Dr Paul Liu

Published Papers

  • P. Z. Y. Liu D. T. Nguyen I. Feain R. O'Brien P. Keall J. T Booth Technical note: Real-time image-guided adaptive radiotherapy of a rigid target for a prototype fixed beam radiotherapy system.Med Phys. 2018 Aug;45(8). doi: 10.1002/mp.13143. Epub 2018 Aug 22. [More Information]
  • Barber, J., Shieh, CC., Counter, W., Sykes ,JR., Bennett, P., Ahern, V., Corde, S., Heng, SM., White, P., Jackson, M., Liu, P., Keall, PJ., Feain, I. A CBCT study of the gravity-induced movement in rotating rabbits. Physics in Medicine & Biology. (2018) [More Information]
  • Feain I, Coleman L, Wallis H, Sokolov R, O'Brien R, Keall P. Technical Note: The design and function of a horizontal patient rotation system for the purposes of fixed-beam cancer radiotherapy.Med Phys. 2017 Jun;44(6):2490-2502. doi: 10.1002/mp.12219.[More Information]
  • Feain, I., Shieh, C., White, P., O'Brien, R., Fisher, S., Counter, W., Lazarakis, P., Stewart, D., Downes, S., Jackson, M., Whelan, B., Makhija, K., Huang, C., Keall, P., et al (2016). Functional imaging equivalence and proof of concept for image-guided adaptive radiotherapy with fixed gantry and rotating couch. Advances in Radiation Oncology, 1(4), 365-372. [More Information]
  • Eslick, E., Keall, P. (2015). The Nano-X Linear Accelerator: A Compact and Economical Cancer Radiotherapy System Incorporating Patient Rotation. Technology in Cancer Research and Treatment, 14(5), 565-572. [More Information]