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As far as I can tell, "heavy ion" and "light ion" are used interchangeably for ion therapy... Very strange. 184.108.40.206 08:55, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I don't think there is a consensus. Consider Carbon. It is a light ion, in that it has an atomic number of only 6 (Uranium is heavy at 92). However, it is probably the heaviest ion worth using for therapy (due to a radiobiological effect called overkill). So it is a light and heavy ion. Blondandy (talk) 18:28, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
This is old Cyclotron Terminology, and dates back to John Lawrence's work at the Berkeley 184" Cyclotron. Simply: Protons, Deuterons, 3He and 4He are "Light Ions". Since it was initially difficult to fully strip "Heavy Ions", (Lithium and above.), "Light Ions" had higher energies and much higher intensities. (Energy scales closely with Q^2/M in Cyclic Accelerators.) Berkeley's BEVALAC pioneered "Heavy Ion" Bragg-Peak Radiotherapy, which was, and is, very complicated and expensive. "Heavy Ions" for Therapy means Lithium through Argon.220.127.116.11 (talk) 07:12, 29 July 2015 (UTC)braggpiqued
The article needs to be edited since the HIT in Germany is treating patients since Nov. 2009 (as even stated in the article). So it's not two but three centers. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 21:04, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
The external link to the "Particle Therapy page from Siemens" is no longer working and this is probably due to the fact that Siemens AG has doscontinued their Particle Therapy business, and are now only working on finishing the two remaining projects: ShaPHIH (Shanghai Proton and Heavy Ion Hospital) and PTZ Marburg.
Cost of carbon facilities
When listing the disadvantages of carbon (or heavy ions in general) facilities I think it would be appropriate to mention the cost, due to the larger atomic mass and hence the larger magnetic fields required in the magnets.