Science Market Update

$200 Million Proton Therapy Cancer Treatment Center Nearing Completion at University of Maryland

Posted by Laura Braden on Mon, Nov 03, 2014

There are currently 14 operating Proton Therapy Treatment Centers around the United States, and in 2015 a new center in Baltimore will be completed. The University of Maryland Baltimore, in collaboration with Advanced Particle Therapy LLC of San Diego, began constructing a $200 million Proton Therapy Cancer Center in 2012 that is on track to begin treating patients in 2015. Once completed, the new center will be the first Proton therapy Center in the Baltimore-Washington area, and only the 5th center of this type on the East Coast. 

Proton therapy is a non-invasive, painless, out-patient procedure able to treat many forms of cancer. Unlike other treatments, such as radiation, proton therapy does not damage healthy tissue or organs and sends protons directly to the source of the cancer. This form of treatment has been used by over 70,000 patients at 30 institutions around the world, and is a growing field, with new treatment centers under construction around the U.S.

(Image courtesy of WIkimedia Commons)

William F. Regine, M.D., interim chair of the Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, explained that proton therapy "allows us the unprecedented ability to deliver a targeted dose of lifesaving radiation therapy directly to the tumor while minimizing radiation to the healthy tissue. It can result in a more effective treatment for patients with fewer side effects. This technology is a powerful new addition to our tool box for fighting cancer.”

The new center, which will be in a 110,000 square foot building in the University of Maryland BioPark on the Baltimore campus, recently installed its cyclotron making it one-step closer to being ready to open. The cyclotron is a 90-ton particle accelerate that will be used to send protons aimed directly at a tumor, while avoiding hitting nearby tissue, making this form of treatment safer for the body than standard x-ray radiation treatments. 

Since this new Proton Therapy Cancer Treatment Center will be the only center of its type in the state of Maryland, and one of only a handful on the East coast, it shows how strong the research market at the University of Maryland is. Along with the $200 million in funding for this project, the campus received $141 million in funding for other life science research from the NIH in 2013, ranking 39th in the U.S.

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Learn More About  Baltimore Event     Researchers: Attend UMD Baltimore Event

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Tags: Northeast, MD, 2015, Baltimore, University of maryland,, UMDBalt, BioResearch Product Faire Event

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