News | Press Releases

August 31, 2021

Commencement of Research Collaboration into Japan's first Photon Counting Computed Tomography with National Cancer Center Japan

Canon Medical Systems Corporation (Headquarters: Otawara, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan; President and CEO: Toshio Takiguchi) has begun a collaborative research project with the National Cancer Center Japan Exploratory Oncology Research & Clinical Trial Center (NCC-EPOC) ( Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, Japan; Director: Atsushi Ochiai) and EAST Hospital (Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, Japan; Director: Atsushi Otsu) using photon counting computed tomography (PCCT), a next-generation diagnostic imaging system. This collaborative research is based on a framework agreement formalized in July 2020 and a basic joint research agreement in November with the National Cancer Center Japan (Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Director: Hitoshi Nakagama).

The PCCT employs a next-generation X-ray detector unit (photon counting detector unit), which allows images to be obtained based on X-rays with different energy levels, permitting the identification of multiple material components and providing images with excellent quantitative capabilities. This is expected to lead to great improvements in diagnostic accuracy. In addition, thanks to the higher resolution of PCCT, the detectability of lesions should be improved at even lower exposure doses as compared to conventional CT. Based on these advanced system capabilities, PCCT is expected to become a next-generation CT imaging system with the potential to offer outstanding clinical value when it enters clinical practice at healthcare institutions around the world.
Canon Medical Systems and National Cancer Center Japan have been working together as world leaders in the development and production of Ultra-High Resolution X-ray CT systems and have made great contributions to the advancement of healthcare. Through this joint research on the implementation of cutting-edge systems, Canon Medical Systems and National Cancer Center Japan will work to improve accuracy in the quantitative analysis of cancer chemotherapeutic agents in the human body and use this information to assess treatment effects, to evaluate the malignancy of tumor tissues, and to analyze differences in tissue characteristics in order to create new clinical value in a wide range of medical fields.

Canon Medical Systems has the largest share of the diagnostic imaging equipment market in Japan* and has long been a world leader in the development of advanced CT technologies, including a 320-row area detector CT system (Aquilion ONE) and Ultra-High Resolution CT system (Aquilion Precision). In the research and development of PCCT, Canon Medical Systems is conducting advanced research in its global R&D department and is focusing its technological expertise on the collection, transfer, and analysis of huge amounts of high-resolution data. In addition, by taking full advantage of the wide range of advanced imaging and manufacturing technologies of the Canon Group, Canon Medical Systems will strive to accelerate the realization of next-generation diagnostic imaging systems.
Through these research efforts to implement PCCT in collaboration with National Cancer Center Japan Exploratory Oncology Research & Clinical Trial Center and EAST Hospital, Canon Medical Systems will create innovative made-in-Japan systems and continue to contribute to the advancement of modern healthcare based on Made for Life philosophy.

[Brief description of PCCT]
The detectors employed in a conventional CT system incorporate scintillators which convert X-rays to light signals. These light signals are detected by photodiodes and converted to electrical signals. The detected signals are accumulated during a specified period of time in the data acquisition system (DAS) before they are output. In a PCCT system, on the other hand, the X-rays received by the detectors are converted directly to electrical signals, making it possible to perform imaging based on the energy level of each X-ray photon. The energy information obtained can be used to analyze multiple material components in the scanned object. In addition, higher resolution can be achieved at even lower exposure doses.

* Based on internal company data for five imaging modalities (CT, MRI, ultrasound, X-ray, and nuclear medicine).

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