When fully established, the Mayo Clinic Proton Beam Therapy Program will offer one of the most technologically advanced treatment options to people with cancer. Proton beam therapy precisely targets cancer cells through the use of charged particles.
In traditional radiation therapy, an X-ray beam passes through tumors and irradiates other tissue in its path. In contrast, proton beam therapy targets only the tumor, destroying cancerous tissue while minimizing damage to healthy surrounding tissue.
Mayo's new program will employ intensity-modulated pencil beam scanning, a more precise form of proton therapy treatment that allows better control of radiation doses, shorter treatment times and fewer side effects.
While not everyone with cancer requires proton beam therapy, it is a preferred treatment for selected patients, such as children and adults with anatomically complex tumors adjacent to critical or sensitive organs and regions such as the brain, eye, spinal cord, lung, heart, liver, bowel and kidneys. Proton beam therapy is sometimes used to treat benign tumors as well.
Proton beam therapy facilities will be built at Mayo Clinic's campuses in Rochester, Minn., and Phoenix, Ariz. Groundbreaking in Rochester was in September 2011, while work will begin in Phoenix in December 2011.
The first treatment rooms are expected to open by mid-2015 in Rochester and by March 2016 in Phoenix. Both facilities will be fully operational in 2017.
Central to the development of this program was a gift of $100 million from longtime Mayo patient and philanthropist Richard O. Jacobson.
Your contribution can further Mayo Clinic's efforts to build the Proton Beam Therapy Program and reduce cancer's burden on society. Please give online or call 800-297-1185 (toll-free) to discuss your gift today.
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