Osaka Heavy Ion Therapy Center

To medical personnel

Before patient referral

Osaka Heavy Ion Therapy Center provides only heavy ion therapy.
Medical treatment other than heavy ion therapy, including examinations for initial diagnosis of cancer, is not included in our services. Please consult your primary doctor.

General conditions

Since heavy ion therapy is less demanding on the body, it is a suitable treatment even for the elderly and those with chronic illness. However, please understand that it is necessary to satisfy the following conditions before this treatment can be applied. It is not a treatment method applicable to all disease conditions.

  • The cancer is localized, and its treatment range is limited.
  • The targeted treatment site has never received radiation therapy in the past.
  • The patient can remain lying down for about 30 minutes. (guideline)
  • The Performance Status (PS) at the start of treatment is in the range of 0-2 (KI 60 or more).
  • There is no active and refractory infections in the irradiation area.
  • The patient, noticed of the cancer selects heavy ion therapy of his/her free will.

Precautions / Notes

Heavy ion therapy is a treatment method expected to have high therapeutic performances with few side effects, but there is a possibility of recurrence as with other treatments.

In addition, not all cancers are treatable by heavy ion therapy. Adaptation for heavy ion therapy requires comprehensive judgment by medical specialists.

Even if it is seemingly a treatable disease, as a result of examination after the initial visit, it may be judged that it is not applicable for heavy ion therapy.

Also, even if all the conditions are met, there are cases where heavy ion therapy cannot be performed due to technical reasons.

Treatment policy / Eligibility condition

Heavy ion therapy conducted at our center is based on the unified protocol of the Japanese Society for Radiation Oncology (JASTRO). We have organized a working-group titled "Osaka Heavy Ion Therapy Study Working Group for each treatment lesion" consisting of specialists from Osaka International Cancer Institute, Osaka University, Osaka Medical College, Osaka City University, Kansai Medical University, Kindai University, and our own center. This group will analyse each case to perform heavy ion therapy. Please see the Japanese Society for Radiation Oncology (JASTRO) website for our current treatment policies and eligibility criteria for each lesion.

Cancer Pathologic classification
Head and neck tumor Non-squamous cell carcinoma and lacrimal gland carcinoma
Head and neck malignant melanoma
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (nonoperative nasal sinus cancer, hearing aid cancer)
Urological tumor Prostate cancer
Renal carcinoma
Bone soft tissue tumor Skull base tumor
Bone soft tissue tumor
Head and neck soft bone tumor
Pulmonary / mediastinal tumor Localized lung cancer
Local non-small cell lung cancer
Gastrointestinal tumor Thoracic Esophageal Cancer (cT1N0M0)
Local recurrent rectal cancer
Pelvic recurrence after colorectal cancer operation
Hepatobiliary pancreatic tumor Hepatocellular cancer
Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma
Resectable pancreatic cancer (preoperative)
Locally advanced pancreatic cancer
Mammary gland / Gynecology Locally advanced cervical cancer
Locally advanced endometrial cancer
Gynecological area malignant melanoma
Metastatic tumor Metastatic lung tumor (3 or less)
Metastatic liver tumor (3 or less)
Metastatic lymph node

Cancers suitable for heavy ion therapy

Heavy ion therapy is suitable for localized solid cancer treatment.
It is a treatment that can also spare the normal tissues or organs at risk near the cancer.
*Note that the applicable sites may depend on the facility. Please contact the treatment facility for more details.

  • Skull base tumor
  • Cancer located in the nasal, sinus, mouth, salivary glands, etc.
  • Lung Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Renal Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancerん
  • Uterine Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Rectal/Colon Cancer(postoperative local recurrence)
  • Bone and soft tissue tumor
  • Lymph node metastasis

Approximate number of fractions and period for treatment

Types of cancer Number of fractions Treatment period
Skull base cancer 16 4 weeks
Head and Neck cancer 16 4 weeks
Lung cancer 1〜4 Within 1 week
Esophageal Cancer 12 3 weeks
Liver cancer 2〜4 Within 1 week
Kidney cancer (Renal cancer) 12 3 weeks
Pancreatic cancer 12 3 weeks
Uterine cancer 20 5 weeks
Prostate cancer 12 3 weeks
Local recurrence of rectal cancer 16 4 weeks
Bone & soft tissue cancer 16 4 weeks
Lymph node metastasis 12 3 weeks

Some of the information listed above is based on clinical trials. In addition, the cancer that can be treated depends on the facility. Please contact the treatment facility for more details.

Flow from consultation to treatment

Reservation required.
You must have a reservation, no walk-ins accepted.


Please consult your doctor if you wish to receive heavy ion therapy treatment.

Medical institution

Patients need to prepare medical information such as a referral letter attention to Osaka Heavy Ion Therapy Center, medical image data and various examination results.

The “Patient referral documents” means referral letter, medical image data (CT/MRI/RI/PET-CT) in CD-R showing chronological change, blood test data showing the transitions of tumor marker and urea nitrogen and creatinine, pathological findings, respiratory function test results, etc.


(medical tourism company)

Osaka Heavy Ion
Therapy Center

We will notify of treatment applicability through our medical tourism agents.
If heavy ion therapy is applicable, we will inform of the scheduled appointment details through our medical tourism agents.
Patients will prepare for the consultation through our medical tourism agents.

(medical tourism company)


Travel to Japan

Osaka Heavy Ion
Therapy Center


At the medical examination, we check the patient's condition from clinical information such as the referral letter, medical image data and various examination results.
As a result of examination, the suitability of heavy ion therapy will be determined.

Preparation for heavy ion therapy
Making the immobilization device → CT simulation → Treatment Planning, About 1 to 2 weeks

We prepare for accurate irradiation before treatment. In order to keep the patient’s body fixed during irradiation, a patient-specific immobilization device will be made. With this device attached, the patient is put in position for CT imaging necessary for treatment planning. Based on the CT image data, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and other medical staff will cooperate and make a treatment plan, by entering the position and shape of the target cancer in the computer dedicated to the treatment planning, determining the angle of the irradiation beam, the dose (= amount of irradiation), fractions (= number of irradiations), etc. to consider the optimal irradiation method.

Heavy ion therapy
1 day to 5 weeks *The fractions (= number of irradiations) depends on the disease.

Heavy ion therapy is performed according to the treatment plan. Prior to irradiation every time, patient positioning is strictly performed. After the patient positioned on the couch and confirmed the irradiation site by X-ray imaging, the heavy ion beam will be irradiated.

Patient follow-up

After heavy ion therapy is completed, we will provide medical follow-ups such as physical exam, blood tests, CT or MRI in cooperation with the patient’s primary doctor. The patient is to visit our center every three months for consultations to check the condition in reference to the medical examinations by the primary doctor’s medical care. We continue to observe the progress of the patient’s condition for five years after the heavy ion therapy, giving the patient necessary advice from the viewpoint of heavy ion therapy. Continuous follow-up is recommended to evaluate side effects of heavy ion therapy on a long-term basis and to ensure that there is no recurrence.