The S. Lee Kling Proton Therapy Center at Siteman Cancer Center is the only proton therapy center in Missouri and the surrounding region. It houses the world’s first compact proton beam accelerator. The compact nature of the technology makes it more versatile and more cost-effective.
Proton therapy’s main advantage is that radiation specialists can control its beams by depth, shape and dose. In other external radiation therapies, beams pass through a patient to a defined location and then exit the body, leaving deposits of radiation all along their path. Because proton therapy allows for depth control, little to no radiation is delivered beyond the tumor, meaning less healthy tissue is affected by the radiation beam.
Siteman Cancer Center’s proton device is ideal for patients with solid tumors located near sensitive areas, such as the eyes, brain or spinal cord. Proton therapy is particularly beneficial for children, because its precise targeting can help protect growing bones and tissue.
Read the story of the first patient treated with proton therapy.
Read more articles from Innovate Fall 2014.