Proton Therapy 'On Its Way' to Miami Cancer Institute

(A crate carrying a proton therapy system was loaded onto a container ship in Belgium before crossing the Atlantic Ocean on its way to Miami Cancer Institute. Photo Courtesy: IBA)

It’s an exciting day for Baptist Health South Florida and the fight against cancer. Proton therapy is on its way to Miami Cancer Institute. Literally, on its way aboard the cargo ship “Atlantic Project II” during a transatlantic voyage that will carry the 220-ton cyclotron from Belgium to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.

Here are some interesting facts about the proton therapy system and its journey:

• The cyclotron will travel nearly 4,700 miles from Belgium to Port Everglades en route to its new home in Miami Cancer Institute. (A cyclotron is the unit that accelerates particles to create the proton beams.)
• Once it arrives in South Florida, a 190-foot, 19-axle trailer will transport the equipment to Miami Cancer Institute.
• Onsite at Miami Cancer Institute, about 5,300 cubic yards of concrete have already been poured, pumped and placed on the project to create vaults for holding the proton therapy system. This is equivalent to 530 concrete truckloads.
• The south walls of the cyclotron vaults have a thickness of 10-feet of solid concrete mixed with special aggregates to increase the hardness.
• When it opens in 2017, the Proton Therapy Center will be the only center of its kind in the region and one of only 14 in the U.S.

About proton therapy

An advanced form of radiation treatment, proton therapy spares healthy tissue and eliminates many of the side effects of conventional radiation treatment (also known as photon or external beam radiation). It shoots from 360 degrees around the patient. Miami Cancer Institute will feature three proton treatment rooms with the newest form of proton therapy – called pencil-beam scanning – the most precise and accurate way to deliver radiation to a tumor. While traditional X-rays pass through healthy tissue and organs on their way in and out of the body, protons travel through the body and release most of their energy inside a tumor. Using proton therapy reduces the risk of damage to bones and soft tissues, and decreases the odds of other tumors later in life, which makes it particularly good for treating childhood cancers.

Proton therapy is especially effective in children, in that it not only reduces their risk later in life of having cancer again ― due to earlier treatments ― but it eliminates unwanted side effects.

Baptist Health South Florida will be following the voyage of this cancer-fighting cargo over the next couple of weeks. We invite you to follow on Facebook at as well as on Twitter @BaptistHealthSF

Check out this related content from the Baptist Health News Team regarding Miami Cancer Institute:

Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida Joins Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance

Miami Cancer Institute Joins Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance (VIDEO)

Watch Now: Topping-off Ceremony at Miami Cancer Institute

Watch Now: Topping-Off Ceremony at Miami Cancer Institute

Watch Now: Proton Therapy System Coming to Miami Cancer Institute

Watch Now: Proton Therapy System Coming to Miami Cancer Institute

Miami Cancer Institute Groundbreaking Ceremony

Watch Now: Miami Cancer Institute Groundbreaking Ceremony

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With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

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