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Will The High Cost Of Proton Therapy Facilities Limit The Availability Of Proton Therapy Treatment?

R Maughan

R Maughan1*, (1) Univ Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

TU-G-BRCD-1 Tuesday 4:30:00 PM - 6:00:00 PM Room: Ballroom CD

The potential dose distribution advantages associated with proton therapy, and particularly with pencil beam scanning (PBS) techniques, have lead to considerable interest in this modality in recent years. However, the large capital expenditure necessary for such a project requires careful financial consideration and business planning. The complexity of the beam delivery systems impacts the capital expenditure and the PBS only systems presently being advocated can reduce these costs. Also several manufacturers are considering “one-room” facilities as less expensive alternatives to multi-room facilities.

This presentation includes a brief introduction to beam delivery options (passive scattering, uniform and modulated scanning) and some of the new technologies proposed for providing less expensive proton therapy systems. Based on current experience, data on proton therapy center start-up costs, running costs and the financial challenges associated with making this highly conformal therapy more widely available will be discussed.

Issues associated with proton therapy implementation that are key to project success include strong project management, vendor cooperation and collaboration, staff recruitment and training.
Time management during facility start up is a major concern, particularly in multi-room systems, where time must be shared between continuing vendor system validation, verification and acceptance testing, and user commissioning and patient treatments. The challenges associated with facility operation during this period and beyond are discussed, focusing on how standardization of process, downtime and smart scheduling can influence operational efficiency.

Learning Objectives:
1. To understand the available choices for proton therapy facilities, the different beam delivery systems and the financial implications associated with these choices.
2. To understand the key elements necessary for successfully implementing a proton therapy program.
3. To understand the challenges associated with on-going facility management to achieve an efficient fully operational system.

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