Collaborative Research Effort with the United
Penn has established a new relationship with
Walter Reed Army Medical Center, through which
proton therapy technology will be available to
treat United States military personnel and veterans.
This collaborative effort is highly relevant
to the United States military in that it will
provide a portal through which all active duty
troops and health care beneficiaries will have
direct access to the most advanced radiation
therapy treatments in the world. Until now this
treatment has only been available to a very limited
This relationship was formed when Congress
appropriated $32 million (after Department
of Defense overhead) to develop technology for
proton therapy. Ten
percent of that money will go to Walter Reed
for its portion of the research and development
and the remainder will go to the Roberts
Proton Therapy Center. Development projects
stemming from this relationship will include
designing a multileaf collimator for proton therapy,
development of the scanning technique to deliver
the radiation, and applying the recent advances
in imaging to targeting the cancer and localization
of the patient.
In addition to the potential this technology
has in reducing permanent and devastating complications
of cancer treatment, it also affords the possibility
of increased rates of curing cancer locally.
This will also be most beneficial to the military,
as it will allow the opportunity for military
physicians and physicists to gain experience
with one of the most promising technologies for
curing cancers locally. The knowledge and experience
gained through this treatment will bring closer
the day when those afflicted with cancer can
be cured without excessive morbidity and it will
propel the military to the forefront of cancer
research in the United States.
Groundbreaking Cancer Research
This proposed research will propel the U.S.
military to the forefront of groundbreaking cancer
research. The experience gained in conducting
this research will be of tremendous value to
the military as Active Duty Radiation Oncologists
will obtain unique skills that a mere handful
of physicians currently possess.
This will firmly
position U.S. military physicians and scientists
far ahead of their peers in the delivery of non-invasive,
minimally damaging, curative cancer therapy.
Clearly the greatest direct benefit of this experience
will be derived by the military beneficiaries
and family members who will receive proton radiotherapy
with the dose conformality that will only be
possible using an MLC.
This research presents a truly extraordinary
opportunity for the U.S.
military that must be seized. This and future
collaborative research efforts will establish
a formal conduit for military healthcare beneficiaries
to receive proton radiotherapy through a previous
agreement between the University of Pennsylvania
and Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Military Civilian Proton Radiotherapy Center
established to provide oversight and management
for this proposal will be transformed into a
center for all military health care beneficiaries
diagnosed with cancer through which they can
receive proton radiotherapy, with the expected
benefits of dramatically reduced chances of normal
organ damage and increased probability of tumor
Patients will receive a course of proton
radiotherapy which will be simulated, planned,
and prescribed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center
and delivered at the University of Pennsylvania.
This ability to prescribe a course of proton
radiotherapy is not currently available at any
military treatment facility nor will it be in
the foreseeable future unless this collaborative
effort advances forward.