Proton beam accelerator installation under way

Robert Boston

Workers unwrap the world’s first superconducting synchrocyclotron proton accelerator at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The device is part of a proton therapy system being installed at the medical center’s Kling Center for Proton Therapy at the corner of Euclid and Forest Park avenues. Proton therapy is a highly accurate form of radiation therapy used to treat tumors near vital organs like the spine, brain, heart and eye in adult and pediatric patients. Jeffrey Bradley, MD, the S. Lee Kling Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology and director of the Kling Center, says protons allow physicians to target tumors with greater precision because they allow them to adjust the depth of radiation. They can avoid a collateral dose that exposes other organs and healthy tissue.