Feature | July 20, 2012

UT Southwestern Medical Center Seeks Operation of Proton Therapy Center Planned for North Texas

Hak Choy, M.D.

Hak Choy, M.D., is chairman of radiation oncology at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

July 20, 2012 — The University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center, seeking to broaden its array of radiation oncology treatments, potentially could play a key role in operating a proton therapy center for North Texas, currently being planned and funded by San Diego-based Advanced Particle Therapy (APT).

The plan, announced earlier in July, is subject to the approval of the UT System Board of Regents. Under the terms of a letter of intent, the proposed 100,000-square-foot center would be operated by UT Southwestern physicians and staff, but built and developed by APT. It would be the second such facility in the state and would feature at least four treatment vaults, as well as laboratory space for researchers.

Proton therapy offers a more precise and aggressive approach to destroying cancerous tumors than conventional X-ray radiation. It involves the use of a controlled beam of protons that can be deposited, because of their heavier mass, on a specific target with less collateral damage.

“This is an exciting development in our ability to offer patients in the region access to the best possible treatment options and provide a leadership role in how best to study and apply this technology,” said Bruce Meyer, M.D., executive vice president for health system affairs at UT Southwestern.

There are many types of particles that can be used in radiation treatment, although only two – electrons and protons – are currently in wide clinical use. Pediatric patients and adults with brain, prostate, lung, and head and neck tumors may be among the first to benefit from the new technology.

“The precision of the proton beam allows for unprecedented focus and intensity in especially hard-to-reach places that tend to characterize head and neck cancers – and in pediatric cancers, where access can be anatomically much tighter,” said Hak Choy, M.D., chairman of radiation oncology at UT Southwestern.

The heart of the new proton facility would be a particle accelerator capable of speeding up protons to a superfast velocity – roughly 112,000 miles per second or 60 percent the speed of light. Two types of machines – either a superconducting cyclotron or a synchrotron – can be used for this purpose. UT Southwestern officials would evaluate and select an accelerator early in the project’s development.

APT has entered into an agreement to purchase land for the facility near the UT Southwestern campus, accessible to both physicians and patients alike.

Nationally, there are nine proton centers in operation and eight in development, according to the National Association for Proton Therapy. APT has developed similar centers in San Diego, teaming with Scripps Health and Scripps Clinic Medical Group; in Baltimore with the University of Maryland School of Medicine; and in Atlanta with Emory University Healthcare.

For more information: http://utsouthwestern.edu/education/medical-school/departments/radiation..., www.advancedparticletherapy.com

Related Content

Technology becomes a state-of-the-art tool when it gets exposed to a structure that constantly tests it and allows it to evolve.

Technology becomes a state-of-the-art tool when it gets exposed to a structure that constantly tests it and allows it to evolve. Getty Images

Feature | Oncology Information Management Systems (OIMS) | May 27, 2020 | By Reshu Gupta
In the history of medicine, researchers have found cures for many diseases, but cancer has been elusive.
Miami Cancer Institute’s Proton Therapy Center is the first in South Florida and the region’s top destination for this leading-edge treatment. Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation therapy that uses pencil beam scanning (PBS) technology.

Miami Cancer Institute’s Proton Therapy Center is the first in South Florida and the region’s top destination for this leading-edge treatment. Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation therapy that uses pencil beam scanning (PBS) technology.

Feature | Proton Therapy | May 27, 2020 | By Minesh Mehta, M.D.
Radiation therapy has advanced significantly in the last few decades as a result of a continued technological revolut
Off-site imaging companies are playing a key role in the fight against COVID-19
Feature | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | May 26, 2020 | By Sean Zahniser
After the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic has pas
a Schematic of the system. The entire solid tumour is illuminated from four sides by a four-arm fibre bundle. A cylindrically focused linear array is designed to detect optoacoustic signals from the tumour. In vivo imaging is performed in conical scanning geometry by controlling the rotation and translation stages. The sensing part of the transducer array and the tumour are submerged in water to provide acoustic coupling. b Maximum intensity projections of the optoacoustic reconstruction of a phantom of pol

a Schematic of the system. The entire solid tumour is illuminated from four sides by a four-arm fibre bundle. A cylindrically focused linear array is designed to detect optoacoustic signals from the tumour. In vivo imaging is performed in conical scanning geometry by controlling the rotation and translation stages. The sensing part of the transducer array and the tumour are submerged in water to provide acoustic coupling. b Maximum intensity projections of the optoacoustic reconstruction of a phantom of polyethylene microspheres (diameter, 20 μm) dispersed in agar. The inset shows a zoomed-in view of the region boxed with a yellow dashed line. In addition, the yellow boxes are signal profiles along the xy and z axes across the microsphere centre, as well as the corresponding full width at half-maximum values. c Normalized absorption spectra of Hb, HbO2 and gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). The spectrum for the AuNPs was obtained using a USB4000 spectrometer (Ocean Optics, Dunedin, FL, USA), while the spectra for Hb and HbO2 were taken from http://omlc.org/spectra/haemoglobin/index.html. The vertical dashed lines indicate the five wavelengths used to stimulate the three absorbers: 710, 750, 780, 810 and 850 nm. Optoacoustic signals were filtered into a low-frequency band (red) and high-frequency band (green), which were used to reconstruct separate images.

News | Breast Imaging | May 26, 2020
May 26, 2020 — Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women.
A new technique developed by researchers at UC Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from normal tissue. The team created a probe that generates two magnetic resonance signals that suppress each other until they reach the target, at which point they both increase contrast between the tumor and surrounding tissue

A new technique developed by researchers at UC Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from normal tissue. The team created a probe that generates two magnetic resonance signals that suppress each other until they reach the target, at which point they both increase contrast between the tumor and surrounding tissue. Image courtesy of Xiandoing Xue, UC Davis

News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | May 26, 2020
May 26, 2020 — Researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a...
Despite facing challenges such as limited access to personal protective equipment (PPE) following the COVID-19 outbreak, radiation oncology clinics quickly implemented safety and process enhancements that allowed them to continue caring for cancer patients, according to a new national survey from the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).

Getty Images

News | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | May 21, 2020
May 21, 2020 — Despite facing challenges such as limited access to...
In response to the significant healthcare delivery changes brought on by COVID-19, Varian has launched new capabilities for its Noona software application, a powerful tool designed to engage cancer patients in their care for continuous reporting and symptom monitoring.
News | Radiation Oncology | May 21, 2020
May 21, 2020 — In response to the significant healthcare delivery changes brought on by...
The global radiation therapy market is expected to reach $10.11 billion in 2024, witnessing growth at a CAGR of 3.38%, over the period 2020-2024.
News | Proton Therapy | May 20, 2020
May 20, 2020 — ResearchAndMarkets.com has released its latest report, the ...