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90-ton Cyclotron at Emory Proton Therapy Center Toured in April

Posted on Sunday, May 12, 2019

In early April, thirty ARCS members toured the Emory Proton Therapy Center, part of Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.  This facility is the only proton therapy center in Georgia, and one of only a few in the Southeast to offer this leading-edge type of radiation treatment. For a closer look and a view into how amazing this facility is, check out the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBRnhcBbQYE#action=share.

Proton therapy is a specialized form of external beam radiation therapy. Rather than using X-rays, proton therapy delivers radiation with protons, which are particles from the nucleus or center of atoms.  Proton therapy concentrates radiation in the tumor or cancer cells, reducing or eliminating unnecessary radiation to healthy tissues and vital organs around the target.  Proton therapy is used to treat many different cancers and some noncancerous (benign) conditions including:

            Bone tumors

            Brain & spine tumors

            Breast cancer

            Childhood cancers

            Gastrointestinal cancers

            Head & neck cancers

            Lung cancers

            Lymphomas

            Pelvic cancers

            Prostate cancer

            Sarcomas

The group also enjoyed a Q&A with the Medical Director, Dr. Mark McDonald, and three other panelists including two physicists and a radiation therapist.  They discussed the challenges of getting the facility open and the advantages of proton therapy.       

Thanks to Robin King for planning this fascinating education meeting for our chapter.