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Cancer appeal supported by Robert expanded


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Here's an update on the cancer appeal for Jackie Jennings which Robert supported by organising the Honeydrippers shows in 2006/7


It's nice to see treatment becoming more accessible.

The Proton Effect charity has become the natural successor of the Jackie Jennings Appeal and organisers hope to finalise the short and long-term aims of the newly-registered charity later this week.

The Francis H. Burr Proton Therapy Center, located on the main hospital campus of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), represents the forefront of technological advancement in radiation therapy. The construction of the proton therapy facility was jointly funded by the hospital and the National Cancer Institute to meet the increasing medical demand for high precision radiation therapy provided by proton therapy. The proton radiation therapy program builds on more than forty years of pioneering work and experience gained by the physicians, physicists, and clinical support personnel at Harvard University's Cyclotron Laboratory where more than nine thousand patients were treated with proton therapy from 1961 to it's closing in 2002.

At the Francis H. Burr Proton Therapy Center protons (charged particles) are accelerated with a large magnetic field in a machine called a cyclotron. Large magnets help guide the proton beam to three treatment rooms.

Two of the treatment rooms incorporate 110-Ton gantries. These 3 story high gantries can be rotated to aim the proton beam from various directions. In the gantry rooms patients lie on robotic beds that can be adjusted for precise alignment of targets contained throughout the body.

The third treatment room contains two specialized "beamlines". The first beamline is specially designed to treat lesions contained in the eye. The second beamline is dedicated to high precision stereotactic treatments within the head.

At the Francis H. Burr Proton Therapy Center, there is a large research program aimed at improving current treatment techniques as well as developing new equipment and approaches. The center is proud to be a leader in the revolution of proton therapy.

Protons are hydrogen atoms whose electrons have been removed. Proton beam radiotherapy uses a special machine called a cyclotron to energize protons. Protons are extracted from the cyclotron and directed with magnetic fields to the tumor. How deeply the radiation penetrates is calculated based on the tumor's location. Protons lose only a small amount of energy when they enter the body. Their remaining energy is released when they reach the tumor, delivering the most effective dose of radiation. Proton beams have no exit dose unlike conventional radiation therapy.


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