The MEVION S250 is built around the world’s first superconducting synchrocyclotron, a high-energy proton source that powers a system that is not only smaller and less expensive than previous systems, but also more reliable and precise. The system also incorporates a number of innovations that combine to reduce the complexity of delivering proton treatment to patients, including:
- A much smaller high-energy proton source
- Advanced beam delivery and shaping technology
- Seamless integration with oncology information and treatment planning systems
- A 6 degree of freedom robotic couch to position the patient for treatment
- A 2D/3D radiographic imaging system
- In-room CT imaging system
The MEVION S250 combines all of these innovations in a clinical environment that resembles a conventional radiation treatment room, paving the way for health systems to offer the benefits of proton therapy to more patients.
Developing the Software to Power Mevion S250
Nearly every piece of the new system requires software development, and those systems need to work together. Software required for the MEVION S250 includes:
- Service screen, which is used by Mevion’s physicists, service personnel and other employees to test and commission the system prior to clinical use
- Patient positioning system to relate stored imaging data to the patient on the couch, creating a 2D/3D transformation that can be used iteratively to position the patient
- Therapy console used by the therapists to deliver and track the treatment plan and integrate to third-party systems within the hospital
- Embedded systems that perform data acquisition and control all low level subsystems, including but not limited to the dosimetry system, concentric gantry system, and field shaping system used to deliver the beam
Together, these systems present a distributed environment that includes Windows®, Linux® and VXworks® operating environments. Mevion chose the Qt™ application framework because it provides a widget toolkit for developing graphic applications across all of these operating systems, as well as important non-GUI features like XML parsing, thread management and network support. Developing with Qt allowed Mevion to use the code they created across these diverse systems, providing consistency and making development more efficient.
The MEVION S250’s software systems must be validated according to the FDA regulations, which require comprehensive testing as well as finding, tracking and resolving software defects. Validating these systems requires an enormous commitment of resources, but staying on schedule for FDA approval is critical. Mevion brought ICS in to assist in completing the software development and testing to ensure a timely filing for FDA clearance.