McLaren Health, ProTom bringing proton therapy center to Michigan

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Michigan’s McLaren Health Care and ProTom International, a Texas-based health care technology company, are partnering to build a $50 million proton beam therapy center in Flint, Mich.

Proton beam therapy delivers radiation to a more targeted area than conventional x-ray radiation, sparing more surrounding healthy tissue and organs while more directly targeting the tumor and producing fewer side effects for patients.

According to McLaren, ProTom’s proton therapy system, the Radiance 330, delivers advanced treatment capabilities in a lower-cost, small footprint solution. The compact accelerator design of the Radiance 330 supports active scanning beam delivery techniques with dynamic energy and intensity modulation for true 3-D intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT), with significantly reduced capital and operating costs.

This technology, the company said, allows for proton beam centers to be built for about one-third the cost (currently upward of $150 million) and on a much smaller footprint than conventional proton beam centers, which can be the size of a football field.

In July 2008, McLaren Health Care received a certificate of need (CON) from the Michigan Department of Community Health on behalf of its Great Lakes Cancer Institute-Flint campus. That CON anticipated a $168-million center to be built on the GLCI-Flint campus, near the 458-bed McLaren Regional Medical Center. Working with ProTom, McLaren expects the total cost for the jointly owned center will be approximately $50 million.