A 90-ton piece of equipment called a cyclotron was delivered and installed Thursday, July 13, at the Emory Proton Therapy Center. The cyclotron will be the source of the proton beam at the state of the art facility located in Midtown Atlanta. When it opens late next year, Winship Cancer Institute physicians, nurses, physicists, and other medical professionals will provide patient services.
At a ceremony held prior to the installation, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said "The Emory Proton Therapy Center will allow the (Winship Cancer Institute) to continue its life-saving work by providing the latest and most advanced technology to fight this deadly disease. When it opens next year, the proton center will also enhance North Avenue’s expanding medical technology district which we are very excited about in the city. It will further solidify the city of Atlanta's reputation as a global health care destination."
"Today marks a milestone for the Emory Proton Therapy Center and we are so pleased to be here with you to witness a truly unique moment in its history," said Jonathan S. Lewin, MD, Emory University's executive vice president for health affairs and president, CEO, and chairman of the board of Emory Healthcare. "We are very excited about the opportunity to bring highly advanced proton therapy treatment to patients in Atlanta, the state of Georgia and the entire Southeast region."
This facility contains five treatment rooms and when it is fully operational, over 1,700 patients will be treated every year.
Proton therapy is more precise than conventional forms of radiation treatment. The proton beam delivers an exact, high dose of radiation to a tumor site while sparing surrounding healthy tissue and organs from damage.
"What this means for the patient is a better chance for a cure and far fewer side effects from the therapy," explains Mark McDonald, MD, medical director of the Emory Proton Therapy Center.