University of Pennslyvania
Office of Public Affairs
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CONTACT: Olivia Fermano
(215) 349-5653 – Office
(215) 459-0546 – Cell
January 28, 2008
INVITATION TO COVER
220-TON PARTICLE ACCELERATOR FOR WORLD’S LARGEST PROTON THERAPY CENTER ARRIVES IN PHILADELPHIA
Mummer All-Stars On-Hand to Welcome Milestone for Innovative Cancer Treatment in Philly
The region’s only cyclotron will complete its 3,700 mile transatlantic journey from Belgium by arriving with a police escort from the Port Authority of Philadelphia to the Roberts Proton Therapy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, which will comprise a dedicated pediatric program administered by The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
The cylcotron weighs 220-tons, about the same as a 747 airliner, but is only 18-feet in diameter and 8-feet high. In order for it to be safely transported on paved roads, a special 19-axle, 200-foot long trailer truck was constructed.
The cyclotron’s job is to accelerate atoms to near light speeds to create a healing beam of energy that can then be targeted to kill cancerous/malignant tumors with unprecedented accuracy, without harming nearby healthy tissue or organs.
For the final leg of its journey, the massively heavy, metal accelerator will be greeted by the Mummer All-Stars, marking the occasion that represents a landmark new option for the treatment of cancer in the Philadelphia region.
The cyclotron’s energy beam will be directed to five treatment rooms, each over two stories tall, making the Roberts Proton Therapy Center the largest of its kind in the world and the only cancer treatment center to fully integrate conventional radiology treatment and proton beam therapy.
The Proton Therapy Program will begin treating patients in 2009.
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will be the first freestanding children’s hospital to provide a more advanced and targeted approach to cancer treatment. In the future, 60 to 70 percent of children who receive conventional radiation could benefit from proton therapy.
In addition, Penn has established a new relationship with Walter Reed Army Medical Center, through which proton therapy technology will be available to treat United States military personnel and veterans.
WHAT: Arrival of a 220-Ton Particle Accelerator to the World’s Largest Proton Therapy Center in Philadelphia.
WHEN: January 29, 2008 -
** 8 AM **
WHERE: Convention Avenue, in front of the University City SEPTA Regional Rail Station, behind PENN Tower. Click here for map/See bottom for location
Interviews available with:
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PENN Medicine is
a $3.5 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions
of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in
patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania
School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical
school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.
Penn's School of Medicine is currently ranked #3 in the nation in U.S.News & World Report's survey of top research-oriented medical schools; and, according to most recent data from the National Institutes of Health, received over $379 million in NIH research funds in the 2006 fiscal year. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes three hospitals — its flagship hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, rated one of the nation’s “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S.News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center — a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home care and hospice.
Release available online at http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/jan08/proton-therapy.html