The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center recently unveiled plans to expand its Proton Therapy Center. The expansion will more than double the center’s size to more than 160,000 square feet.
The estimated completion of the new building is November 2023. The $159 million expansion will increase the center size to include a total of eight radiation therapy machines that rotate 360° around a patient to deliver a proton beam to the exact area intended for treatment. The new machines will deliver intensity-modulated proton therapy, the most precise form of image-guided radiation therapy available. The expansion also will include an additional synchrotron, the massive accelerator that creates the proton beam, as well as rooms with improved design for a better patient experience.
This therapy currently is used to treat a number of cancers in adult and pediatric patients, including prostate, lung, head/neck, liver, esophagus, brain, and lymphoma.
Since opening in 2006, MD Anderson’s Proton Therapy Center has treated more than 9,300 patients from the United States and across the world within its current 73,500 square-foot facility. In 2018, MD Anderson treated 819 patients with proton therapy, a nearly 11% increase from 2017. Currently, 38% of patients are treated for head and neck cancers, but the center also sees numerous patients for prostate, lung, liver, and brain cancers, as well as a range of pediatric cancers. ■