MD Anderson breaks ground on Proton Therapy Center expansion

WCN Editorial Team 12 Aug 2019 NORTH AMERICA BUILDINGS

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has broken ground on the expansion of its Proton Therapy Center.

The expansion will double the size of the centre to more than 160,000ft², almost the size of three football fields. The expanded facility will allow access to most advanced and precise form of radiation therapy for more patients.

The $159m expansion is expected to be completed by November 2023. Gilbane Building Company has been appointed for the expansion project.

The expanded Proton Therapy Center will include eight radiation therapy machines that rotate 360 degrees around a patient to deliver a proton beam to the exact area intended for treatment.

Hitachi will supply the new radiation therapy machines, which will deliver intensity-modulated proton therapy, the most precise form of image-guided radiation therapy available.

The expansion will also include an additional synchrotron, an accelerator that creates the proton beam, as well as rooms with improved design for better patient experience.

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center president Peter WT Pisters said: “For over a decade, MD Anderson has led the world in the field of proton therapy.

“Our physicians and international cancer experts continue to push the boundaries to provide the most innovative care to our patients, and now we are working to provide increased access to that care so even more people can potentially benefit from this important treatment option.”

Proton therapy is claimed to be an advanced type of radiation treatment that uses a beam of protons to deliver radiation directly to the tumour. This destroys the cancer cells, while avoiding the healthy tissue.

Under this therapy, protons will enter the body with a low radiation dose, stop at the tumour, match its shape and volume or depth and deposit their cancer-fighting energy precisely at the tumour.

The therapy is currently used for treating several types of cancers among adult and paediatric patients.

Proton Therapy Center medical director Steven Frank said: “This expansion is critical for patients who need access to proton therapy. Our center has been operating at capacity, treating patients 20 hours a day, five days a week.

“Doubling our size will mean not only that we can treat more patients, but that we can do so using the very latest technology while achieving remarkable efficiency.”

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Image: Rendering of Proton Therapy Center. Photo: Courtesy of Stantec.

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