This spread illustrates the benefits of Proton Beam Therapy, an innovative approach to cancer treatment used at the new Johns Hopkins Proton Therapy Center.
A blueprint introduces the Center’s layout which houses three treatment rooms and one research lab. The synchrotron, a particle accelerator, produces a proton beam from hydrogen atoms of water molecules. A high-energy beam exits the synchrotron and travels to a gantry where radiation is focused with pencil-beam precision to treat tumors, breaking down genetic materials in cancer cells.
Unlike traditional radiation therapy which uses X-rays that damage adjacent healthy tissues, proton therapy delivers higher-dose radiation treatment targeted only to cancer cells, sparing nearby vital organs. Patients experience fewer short- and long-term side effects and lower risk for secondary cancers. Proton therapy can be especially beneficial to children, reducing excess radiation that can impair growth, cognition, fertility, vision or hearing.
The blue print of the Proton Center was provided to me in oder to understand the layout of the facility. Research went into understanding the mechanics of the synchrotron, the gantry and the treatment beam. An understanding of how proton therapy was different (and more precise) than conventional radiation therapy was necessary in order t portray the entire story.