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Northern Illinois Proton Center on the Verge of Major Medical Breakthrough
Date:2/24/2010

on the tumor," said Coutrakon.  "This is advantageous for such tumors located at the brain stem and base of the skull because precision is absolutely essential in sparing healthy tissues.  This is particularly important for tumors in children."

Currently, x-ray CT scans are used to develop an image of the cancer patient and simulate the radiation dose delivered by the proton beam to the tumor.  Although x-ray CT scans have worked well for many years, they do contain an error margin that researchers believe could be reduced substantially through the use of proton beam scanning technology in imaging.  The existing procedure of using x-ray CT scans causes the range of a proton beam to have a margin of error of about three percent.  By using a proton beam scan instead, the margin of error would be reduced from approximately three percent to less than one percent thereby allowing greater dose sparing of healthy tissue.

The new innovation bears witness to NIPTRC's vital mission of advancement in cancer treatment research that will set it apart from any other proton treatment center.  The discovery comes even as the northern Illinois center is still under construction.

"Even though we are not yet operational, there is a great deal of research activity taking place behind the scenes," sai
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SOURCE Northern Illinois Proton Treatment and Research Center
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