Proton Therapy Research
Loma Linda University Medical Proton Treatment Center is committed to the continuation of proton therapy research. LLUMC continuously designs and participates in clinical trials for patients with many kinds of cancer and non-cancerous conditions. The goal is to expand treatment capabilities so that more patients can benefit from proton therapy. One of the more recent clinical trials led to the use of proton therapy for early stage breast cancer; which has now become an option for women.
Basic science is at the foundation of proton therapy, and ultimately affects patient care. At the several laboratories within The James M. Slater Proton Treatment and Research Center, microbiologists, radiation biologists, geneticists, neurologists, chemists, physicists, and other researchers study the effects of proton beams and analyze radiation effects in tissues, cells, and cell components. Investigators also study proton therapy in combination with other forms of treatment.
In other basic studies, physicists investigate methods to optimize proton delivery by such measures as improving or modifying control systems or changing equipment collaborations. LLUMC has also partnered with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), using protons to study the effects of space flight in cell cultures, experimental animals, and human beings; other scientists perform translational research to ensure that these findings can be applied to patient care.
The commitment to research includes studies to develop a scanning proton beam for treating large and irregular shaped tumors. These studies lead to proton radiation treatment of larger breast and lung cancers and other large-field applications.
LLUMC is also home to the first Precision Patient Alignment System or robotic positioner, which calculates and adjusts the patients position automatically to place the treatment target precisely within 1 millimeter of the patient’s treatment plan. This system has increased precision and will enable LLUMC to increase the number of patients treated. This major upgrade was completed in 2010 and is a testament to the teams innovative thinking, research skills and continued dedication to making proton therapy available to more patients.
For information on open clinical trials or if you have additional research questions please call 1-800-Protons.