The McLaren Proton Therapy Center is a partnership between McLaren Health Care and ProTom International, Inc., a Texas-based healthcare technology company. The Center represents the next generation of proton therapy centers with several advances in design and technology. The new Center will take further steps toward better treatment delivery, image-guidance and will open doors for future clinical research for proton beam treatment. The McLaren Proton Therapy Center is the first – and only – Proton Therapy Center in Michigan and is projected to serve patients statewide as well as those from Canada and surrounding states.
Built at McLaren Cancer Institute in Flint, Michigan, the McLaren Proton Therapy Center and existing cancer center will be clinically and operationally integrated. The proton center is comprised of 52,000 sq. ft. of space. Exterior construction began in October 2010 and was completed in December 2011. With a total cost of $65 million, the project took shape with less time and less expense than other proton facilities currently in existence. The reasons for these efficiencies lie in the Center’s innovative design. The construction project was smaller than other proton treatment facilities because of the building integration and because of the novel, compact, accelerator design.
As the McLaren Proton Therapy Center is physically linked to the existing cancer center, the designers were able to integrate the use of assets already on the campus and thus reduce new construction square footage. The facilities also share access to a healing garden courtyard that will allow patients and family to enjoy nature in a contemplative and serene setting.
The McLaren Proton Therapy Center includes a synchrotron, three gantry treatment rooms, an additional CT simulator and a PET CT. There is also clinical space to support daily treatment-related activities, including four exam rooms, patient and family support areas, physician and physicist offices and a CT/SIM suite.
The three gantry treatment rooms will share proton beam, generated by the Radiance 330 Synchrotron manufactured by Protom International.
The Radiance 330 synchrotron is a compact design that is five meters in diameter and accelerates protons up to 250 MeV for therapy and 330 MeV for proton tomography. The shielding walls and lids surrounding the synchrotron, proton beam line and treatment area are one-half, to one-third the thickness of first-generation proton centers.
The advanced treatment technology utilized at McLaren Proton Therapy Center is redefining the level of precision possible in radiation oncology. Three gantry treatment rooms will be seamlessly sharing proton beam delivery. Each of the three treatment rooms will have a 180-degree, 45-ton gantry, and a treatment table with robotic positioning with an accuracy of 0.5mm. Each gantry will have a pencil-beam scanning nozzle. For isocentric, volumetric, and orthogonal imaging, each of the three rooms will be equipped with a ceiling mounted, robotic C-arm with cone-beam CT and multiple panel x-ray imaging capabilities. Each of the treatment rooms are equipped with in-room and out-of-room CT image viewing consoles for volumetric image guidance. In addition to a second CT simulator, a PET CT unit will be placed steps away from the proton treatment rooms. This will allow for further research for post-proton treatment PET imaging and will also aid in PET CT treatment planning.