About Mayo Clinic's program

Mayo Clinic's Proton Beam Therapy Program is a new addition to the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, the only national cancer center, with sites in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota.

The program differs from most other proton therapy programs in the United States in that it will exclusively feature intensity-modulated proton beam therapy, using pencil beam scanning, an advance over current radiation and proton therapy methods because its beam conforms more closely to the tumor, better sparing surrounding healthy tissue from harm. All eight treatment rooms at Mayo Clinic's two facilities will feature this advanced technology.

The first treatment rooms will be available for patients in Rochester in the summer of 2015 and in Arizona in 2016. All eight treatment rooms will be operational by 2017.

Mayo's facility

Schematic drawing showing the synchrotron connected to the four treatment rooms.

THE SYNCHROTRON GENERATES AND ACCELERATES THE PROTON BEAM FOR THE TREATMENT ROOMS. RADIATION IS SYNCHRONIZED WITH THE PATIENT'S BREATHING.

Research

One of Mayo Clinic's priorities is to advance the science of proton therapy, which is still in its infancy. Mayo Clinic researchers at the two proton beam facilities will conduct joint clinical studies as a unified program. Clinical outcomes for all Mayo patients will be entered into one central database to improve care models and services for cancer patients. Mayo also plans to foster collaborative research with other centers worldwide.