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Developing the First Compact Proton Therapy Medicine for Cancer Treatment

Narrator: This is Science Today. The first compact proton therapy machine for cancer treatment is in the development stage. Proton therapy is considered the most advanced form of radiation therapy available, but its enormous size and high cost of over 100 million dollars has limited the technology's use to only six cancer centers nationwide.

Matthews: Our goal was to come up with a proton facility that could be in the ten million dollar range.

Narrator: Dennis Matthews, an associate director of the University of California, Davis Cancer Center and a physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, says the campus and lab have combined their expertise and technology to reach this goal.

Matthews: We've proven the feasibility of it, which means that we've taken the components of it and proved out the physics of them and now we're engineering those components and putting together a prototype of this.

Narrator: Proton therapy for cancer offers patients survival rates comparable to those of surgery or conventional radiation, but with minimal to no side effects. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.