Radiotherapy Giant Elekta Expands China Supply Chain Production

“This year, we will increase our production capacity in China by another 30%, and Elekta China will become the company’s largest production and R&D base globally. In the future, most of the equipment sold by Elekta to various countries will be produced in China,” revealed Liu Jianbin, Senior Vice President and Market Director of Elekta China, as Elekta continues to increase its investment in China.

he World Health Organization and the International Union Against Cancer report that over 70% of tumors globally require radiotherapy, and 40% of tumors can be cured through radiotherapy.

As a global pioneer in precision radiotherapy, Elekta has consistently led the industry in the field of radiotherapy. This is especially true in the domestic market for high-energy radiotherapy equipment, where Elekta and Varian, two multinational companies, have long held leading positions.

During the 6th China International Import Expo, Liu Jianbin, Senior Vice President and Market Director of Elekta China, stated at a media communication meeting that the Elekta Unity high-field strength magnetic resonance radiotherapy system, which was exhibited at the first CIIE and has since been clinically used in China, has now served over 15 Chinese users, been applied in treating more than 40 types of tumors, and treated over 2,000 patients, with up to 45 patients treated in a single day. Liu also revealed that Elekta currently holds a 100% market share in China’s magnetic resonance accelerator market, and over 40% market share in other conventional accelerators (with more than 10 companies having a presence).

Liu Jianbin, who was interviewed by the “Daily Economic News” for the third consecutive year at the CIIE, commented on the “business environment in the medical device industry” this year, saying, “In recent years, we have found the investment environment to be very friendly, including government support, tax reductions, customs duties, etc., which are continuous and proactive. We have not felt any impact on our business; in fact, Elekta has maintained healthy growth in its business over the past five years.”

Entering China for 30 years, Leksell Gamma Knife has treated over 300,000 patients The founder of Elekta invented the world’s first Leksell Gamma Knife in 1968, and based on this, established what is now Elekta. The Leksell Gamma Knife has been in China for 30 years, and as of June 2023, it has treated over 300,000 Chinese patients, with more than 30 units installed domestically.

It is noted that the Elekta Leksell Gamma Knife, although called a “knife,” is different from traditional surgical knives and does not require an incision in the patient’s head. Its principle is similar to focusing sunlight with a magnifying glass, focusing nearly 200 beams of gamma rays with sub-millimeter precision on the target, to irradiate deep-seated lesions in the brain from multiple angles and with high doses, achieving irreversible biological effects of lesion destruction. Each beam of high-energy rays has low intensity, not harming the healthy tissue it passes through. While it is not a real “knife,” it is more precise and sharper, silently penetrating deep into the brain and seamlessly excising lesions, with a clear boundary between the irradiation treatment area and normal tissue, hence aptly named “Gamma Knife.”

Compared to craniotomy, Gamma Knife treatment usually completes within a day, allowing patients to remain conscious throughout and quickly return to normal work and life without complications such as bleeding, infection, or cerebrospinal fluid leakage.

At this year’s CIIE, Elekta showcased its latest generation of Gamma Ray Stereotactic Radiosurgery System for the head, Elekta Esprit. Liu Jianbin explained that this is the seventh generation of cranial radiosurgery equipment, which enables a large number of patients to achieve surgical effects without surgery or craniotomy, “just like undergoing a CT/MR scan, early-detected tumors in the cranium can be eliminated.”

Elekta claims that Elekta Esprit elevates the “gold standard” of cranial stereotactic radiosurgery to new heights. Liu Jianbin said that this “gold standard” firstly refers to process optimization, allowing patients to spend less time on the treatment bed, have more energy to cooperate with doctor’s treatment requests, and achieve better treatment outcomes. For doctors, the workload is reduced, allowing them to treat more patients in a day or spend more time on doctor-patient communication.

Furthermore, it achieves personalized treatment. “The machine can even operate with one-click, presenting the patient’s personalized treatment plan directly to the doctor for review and modification. After adjustment, the treatment plan can be sent back to the treatment room, and the treatment schedule is immediately adjusted.

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