New technology unveiled in Hampton for cancer treatment is set to be a game-changer

Hampton University Proton Cancer Institute teamed up with Leo Cancer Care to install upright patient positioning and imaging in treatment rooms.

HAMPTON, Va. — In the latest step in the fight against cancer, Hampton University Proton Cancer Institute (Hampton Proton) has entered into a unique partnership with Leo Cancer Care to help advance research into Proton Arc Therapy (PAT).

Together, they will repurpose an existing fixed-beam proton therapy treatment room by installing into it an advanced upright patient positioning system and CT scanner.

This is designed to help treatment beams more directly interact with tumors, and it’s also designed to cut down on the time a patient must remain in the treatment room. 

Alejandro Carabe, the chief medical physicist at Hampton Proton, said what makes the new technology so important is that there’s nothing else like it on the East Coast.

“I can tell you that people from all over the world will want to be a part of this,” Carabe said. “People will travel here just to use this technology.”

Hampton University Therapy Institute has one of the largest centers in the world and has the room to equip such a machine. There, it will be able to help more patients more efficiently and in a more comfortable manner.

Mayor Donnie Tuck said the new development makes the whole City of Hampton proud.

“It’s a major, major development,” Tuck said. “I’m just so happy to have this partnership in Hampton and the ultimate good that is going to come out of this.”

Medical experts hope that with the new technology, it will be able to increase chances of curability when it comes to cancer diagnoses.

“Research will begin very soon on ‘phantom’ patients yielding initial results much faster than full clinical implementation,” Stephen Towe said, Leo Cancer Care’s chief executive officer.

The installation of the technology will take several years, but medical experts hope to have it fully operational by 2026. 

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