The history of proton radiation therapy
“The first proposal to use high-energy protons for medical treatment was in 1946. Less than 10 years later, proton treatment began for patients with certain cancers. Research and laboratory applications increased rapidly within the next 30 years. However, it was not until the James M. Slater, MD Proton Therapy and Research Center became operational that the full benefits of proton therapy were available to cancer patients of all types.
Built by U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) physicists and engineers, LLUMC’s accelerator is the world's smallest variable-energy proton synchrotron. Its design delivers a beam of energy sufficient to reach the deepest tumors in patients. Proton radiation treatment is notably valuable for treating localized, isolated, solid tumors that may spread to other areas of the body.”
“In the late 1970s, imaging advancements coupled with the development of sophisticated computers and improved accelerator and treatment delivery technology made proton therapy more viable for routine medical applications, such as cancer treatment. Only in recent years has it become possible to develop proton beam facilities in conjunction with established medical centers.
In 2006, MD Anderson opened the Proton Therapy Center and began treating patients with one of the most advanced and innovative technologies available: proton therapy.
At that time, the center was one of only three in the nation and the first of its kind integrated within a comprehensive cancer hospital , giving patients the benefit of a powerful technology with fewer side effects, all delivered by world-renowned cancer specialists. Today, the center remains one of only thirteen proton therapy centers nationally - and still the only at one of the nation's the top cancer centers.”