The fifth and final treatment room at the Emory Proton Therapy Center opened for clinical use on January 14th, 2020. The fifth treatment room, which uses a fixed-beam, will be dedicated to the treatment of patients with prostate cancer. This will increase availability in the four other treatment rooms for patients whose cancers require a rotational gantry. With the opening of another treatment room, the center estimates it will be able to treat an additional 20-30 patients each day depending on operational hours and overall patient volume.
Since opening in December 2018, the Emory Proton Therapy Center has opened a treatment room every three to four months. The staggered rollout was intentional to allow for commissioning the equipment in each room and training specialized staff. Having all five treatment rooms available for treatment marks a significant achievement for the center and opens more opportunities for patients to be treated with this innovative technology.
Mark McDonald, MD, medical director of the Emory Proton Therapy Center, says, "The fixed-beam room is specially designed to treat certain prostate cancer cases. Having a room that is dedicated to this prostate cancer treatment will support the specific needs of this patient population and should create some efficiencies in the overall patient throughput."
"Opening the fifth and final treatment room celebrates the last milestone in the start-up phase of the center," says Katina Wood, MHA administrator and director of operations for the Emory Proton Therapy Center. "We look forward to continued growth as we move into the next phase of development for the center."
Winship medical physicists, led by Yuting Lin, PhD, DABR, have led the effort to commission and open the fixed-beam treatment room.