First Proton Treatment Facility

“Proton therapy  represents the next-generation improvement in radiation oncology,” says William F. Regine, M.D., professor and Isadore & Fannie Schneider Foxman Endowed Chair in Radiation Oncology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Right now, a new proton therapy center is taking shape on the campus of the University of Maryland, Baltimore as part of an effort between the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Advanced Particle Therapy LLC of California. When completed, it will bring the most advanced radiation technology in cancer treatment to Maryland and Washington, D.C., for the first time. 

The technology for this therapy continues to evolve, which will allow for its expanded use in treating cancer patients worldwide. The noninvasive, outpatient therapy requires patients to receive about 30 treatments over a five- to six-week period. Treatments last approximately 20 minutes each day for five to six days a week. After each appointment, patients are able to leave the center and resume normal activities.

The technology uses a proton beam to deliver radiation more precisely to the tumor site than with standard X-ray radiation. “Proton therapy is more controlled, more precise and therefore has the potential to produce more effective outcomes for certain cancer types,” says Dr. Regine, who is also president of University of Maryland Radiation Oncology Associates. “We calibrate the proton radiation to the precise size and shape of the tumor, while minimizing radiation exposure to healthy tissue.”

“This technology is undergoing rapid evolution, and we’re looking forward to exploring its full potential,” adds Dr. Regine. “As leaders in radiation oncology clinical and basic science research, we at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center expect to be a part of the national team of experts who will determine the future of this new therapy. This center affirms our position in that leadership role.”

This new center will be the 12th proton treatment center in the United States and is expected to open in 2014.

This page was last updated: November 7, 2013

         
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