The U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity recently awarded Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center a $2.2 million research contract to fund proton therapy research that could result in targeting cancer treatments more effectively.


The U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity recently awarded Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center a $2.2 million research contract to fund proton therapy research that could result in targeting cancer treatments more effectively.

Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center announced today that 35 percent the funding is dedicated to proton therapy - a form of radiation therapy that holds tremendous potential in the treatment of certain types of cancer because it allows physicians to deliver higher doses while sparing surrounding healthy tissues and organs.

As issued in a release earlier this summer, the balance will go toward a different project researching a new approach to treating cancer on a cell-by-cell basis.

Historically, proton therapy has benefited a select segment of cancer patients, mostly in treating localized, isolated, solid tumors, such as brain, spine, head and neck as well as eye tumors, before they spread to the rest of the body.

As research improves and proton therapy technology becomes more economical for cancer centers to implement, its benefits should expand to many other types of cancer patients.

Principal Investigator, Kenneth Hogstrom, Ph.D., Mary Bird Perkins and the Dr. Charles M. Smith Chair of Medical Physics at LSU said, "We are researching how best to apply radiation calculations, referred to as pencil beam theory, to a new proton accelerator, called the dielectric wall proton accelerator. This innovative research will result in the capability to provide greater radiation doses, via proton therapy, to cancer with minimal damage to normal tissue, which will increase cures for many cancers."