publication date: Jun. 20, 2014


By Tessa Vellek

BALTIMORE—Constructed in Germany, shipped to the port of Baltimore, and driven through downtown during the night, the 90-ton cyclotron arrived at the University of Maryland’s Proton Treatment Center.

A suitably massive crane slowly lowered the plastic-wrapped machine at a rate of 12 inches per hour through the roof to its concrete resting place, completing its work at 3:30 p.m., June 13. Engineers and construction workers swarmed the cyclotron to check whether all parts were appropriately bolted and secured before giving the lines any slack.

“The facility is a monster—it’s more concrete than you’ve ever seen in one place,” said Kevin Cullen, director of the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center. Indeed, over 4,000 truckloads of concrete were brought in for construction of the building that is nearly the size of two football fields.

The $200 million Maryland Proton Treatment Center is also one of three major proton beam facilities being built near the nation’s capital. The District of Columbia State Health Planning and Development Agency recently issued certificates of need for a three-room center at Sibley Memorial Hospital of John Hopkins University, as well as a one-room center at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. (Since the University of Maryland proton beam facility is across the street from the cancer center, the university didn’t need to apply for a certificate of need.)

Is there a legitimate need for all that capacity?

Cullen says no. “I’m disappointed that the district government approved two additional proton facilities in … Continue reading 40-25 New Cyclotron Delivered To University of Maryland; Instigating D.C.-Area Proton Radiation Competition

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