The University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute completed the installation of a dedicated nozzle in an original treatment room that delivers pencil beam scanning to cancer patients.
A Sept. 7 news release from UF said the reopening of the treatment room is the third and final phase in a $44 million expansion and upgrade project that began in 2016.
“The reopening of the fifth treatment room and offering pencil beam scanning in multiple treatment rooms puts us at the forefront of proton therapy and particle delivery,” Dr. Nancy Mendenhall, medical director of the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute, said in the release.
“We are able to optimize treatment delivery for each patient and customize it for the best results.”
The facility, at 2015 N. Jefferson St. in Springfield, now can treat 25% more patients, according to the release.
The UF Health Proton Therapy Institute has two cyclotrons, offering both double scattering and pencil beam scanning technologies, enabling the facility to target tumors precisely while causing less damage to the healthy tissue surrounding the tumor.
During treatment, radiation is deposited layer by layer, conforming the dose to the specific shape of the treatment area and destroying cancer cells while preserving uninvolved tissue and organs near the cancer.
Previous phases of expansion include upgrades to the treatment rooms; a new proton therapy imaging system and new treatment planning software; a 10,000-square-foot expansion; and installation of the compact, single-room proton therapy system, ProteusOne, with treatments starting in December 2019.
The UF Health Proton Therapy Institute is a nonprofit affiliated with the University of Florida College of Medicine and the UF Health Cancer Center.
It is a radiation oncology facility accredited by the American College of Radiology. The facility provides conventional radiation and proton therapy and delivers proton therapy to 100 patients a day. More than 11,000 patients from all 50 states and 34 countries have been treated there since it opened in 2006.