LIGHT is an acronym for Advanced Oncotherapy's Linac Image Guided Hadron Technology - the next generation of particle therapy systems that requires neither the massive infrastructure nor the extensive shielding that older and current forms of protons accelerators do. LIGHT uses innovative accelerators and hence does not require a cyclotron nor a synchrotron to accelerate the protons to the high energy levels needed.
This has many advantages such as increased precision and the capacity to modulate the energies of the proton beam. It also has an active longitudinal modulation along the beam axis and can be electronically varied during treatment potentially giving a superior alternative to passive modulation that degrades the beam along its path causing it to lose integrity.
The LIGHT accelerator is a series of modular units. This feature offers hospitals and centres the complete freedom to customise treatment plans based on a wide range of energies. Moreover, LIGHT makes proton therapy accessible to local, smaller hospitals not affiliated with an academic centre.
In summary, key competitive advantages of LIGHT:
- Lower cost: We estimate that the cost of a LIGHT facility will be in the region of US$40m vs. US$160-200m for those using cyclotrons or synchrotrons;
- Precision: The beam energy from a LIGHT machine can be varied during therapy, allowing the beam to more accurately target cancer cells and spare healthy tissues;
- Compact: LIGHT will be smaller and materially lighter than conventional proton therapy solutions, significantly reducing the size and construction cost of the facility required to house it;
- Modular: LIGHT will be modular in nature providing healthcare operators greater freedom to customise their service to particular treatments ie, providing lower energy accelerators for eye, head or neck treatments, and having the flexibility to increase this to higher energies through the addition of other modules;
- Lower shielding requirements: LIGHT will require less shielding than conventional proton therapy solutions.