$200M Cancer Treatment Facility Coming to Baltimore

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor The University of Maryland School of Medicine and Advanced Particle Therapy LLC of San Diego, Calif. started work last week on a more than $200 million proton treatment center in Baltimore’s west side. This will be [...]

The University of Maryland School of Medicine and Advanced Particle Therapy LLC of San Diego, Calif. started work last week on a more than $200 million proton treatment center in Baltimore’s west side. This will be the 12th proton treatment center in the United States and the only one in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area. State, local and university officials—among them Gov. Martin O’Malley and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake—took part in the groundbreaking ceremony.

The center will be located inside a new 110,000-square-foot building in the University of Maryland–BioPark. The building will also include retail space. When finished, it will add 175 high-paying permanent jobs, bringing the number of people that work in the Biopark to 800. University of Maryland President Jay A. Perman, M.D. said that the “proton treatment center, the newest building, doubles the capital investment in the BioPark to more than $400 million in just six years.”

The Maryland Proton Treatment Center will bring the latest in cancer treatment to the region. Proton beam therapy is an advanced form of radiation that provides treatment for many common and some rare types of cancers. It delivers a targeted dose of radiation therapy directly to the tumor—minimizing radiation to the healthy tissue—resulting in a more effective treatment with fewer side effects.

When finished in 2014, the center will have the capacity to treat approximately 2,000 patients each year. It is expected that patients from all over the country will come to Baltimore to receive treatment. Since therapy requires patients to receive about 30 treatments over a five- to six-week period, plans are being studied to include a hotel and additional retail.

Advanced Particle Therapy LLC raised the money to finance, design, equip and build the center. It will own it through a corporate entity called the Maryland Proton Center LLC. According to APT, the project will generate approximately $50 million in construction costs and will create hundreds of construction jobs.

Image courtesy of http://medschool.umaryland.edu.