In April 2018, engineers and technicians at the Emory Proton Therapy Center successfully moved the proton beam from the cyclotron to the first proton therapy treatment room, that will open for patient treatment later this year.
Mark McDonald, MD, medical director of the Emory Proton Therapy Center, is calling the development a milestone. "The equipment successfully accelerated a stream of proton particles and steered them with a series of magnets in a vacuum tube down to a long corridor to a treatment room, making essentially three 90-degree turns, and accurately delivering those proton particles exactly at the anticipated spot almost a full city block away."
McDonald says, the next steps are to continue calibrating and fine-tuning the transportation of the proton beam to each of the treatment rooms to ensure that the entire system meets the manufacturer's stringent performance requirements.
Medical physicist Samantha Hedrick, PhD adds "ensuring the safety and accuracy of the proton beam and calibrating the system to deliver targeted proton therapy is our top priority."