gms | German Medical Science

48th Meeting of the Particle Therapy Co-Operative Group

Particle Therapy Co-Operative Group (PTCOG)

28.09. - 03.10.2009, Heidelberg

Design Challenges and Opportunities Unique to Proton Therapy Centers

Meeting Abstract

Search Medline for

  • E. Mollo-Christensen - Tsoi/Kobus & Associates, Inc., Cambridge, MA, USA
  • J. Cohen - Tsoi/Kobus & Associates, Inc., Cambridge, MA, USA

PTCOG 48. Meeting of the Particle Therapy Co-Operative Group. Heidelberg, 28.09.-03.10.2009. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2009. Doc09ptcog140

doi: 10.3205/09ptcog140, urn:nbn:de:0183-09ptcog1404

Published: September 24, 2009

© 2009 Mollo-Christensen et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Background: Facilities designed to deliver Proton Therapy treatment are costly to build and operate. Demanding utility and space requirements for equipment and shielding make these facilities difficult to integrate into an existing building or a densely packed medical campus.

Materials and methods: In the early planning stages, decision-makers need to consider:

Facility Size and Cost
What key factors drive the size and cost of a center?
How many treatment rooms are needed and what type?
How much support space is needed and what type?
Facility Location
How will vendor selection and shielding design influence building size and cost?
What key factors drive the location of a center?
What are the relative advantages of an independent, free-standing facility vs. one that is fully-integrated into a larger hospital setting?
What adjacencies to affiliated clinical programs are required/desirable?
What are the challenges of developing on a highly constrained site?
Should the center be above or below-grade?
How will access for equipment installation and future servicing be addressed?
What key factors drive decisions on technology selection and implementation?
How are facilities planned to accommodate evolving and future technologies?
Planning and Design
How much flexibility should be provided and at what cost?
What key factors drive patient flow and through-put?
How do diagnostic, pre and post-verification imaging influence facility planning?
What design opportunities enhance the patient experience?
What donor opportunities can be explored to help offset the initial costs of building and technology?