By now you may have heard about Mayo Clinic's plan to initiate a proton bean therapy program. It will consist of two centers, one on the hospital campus in Arizona (Phoenix) and one on the Minnesota campus (Rochester). These will use pencil beam therapy, which is a more precise form of proton therapy treatment that allows greater control over radiation doses, shorter treatment times and fewer side effects. The beam can be targeted so the radiation precisely hits the tumor, while minimizing any damage to surrounding tissue. This approach is especially valuable in cancer treatment for children. It is also believed to be more cost effective in selected patients. The first patients will be treated in 2014 or early 2015.
While advancing patient care, the facilities will also allow for advancing research in this new therapeutic approach. Robert Foote, M.D., Mayo radiologist says investigators will be planning clinical trials that will help physicians determine the most effective approaches for each patient.
Read the news release on proton beam therapy.