September 28, 2009 --
A core piece of equipment for an alternative type of cancer therapy arrived in suburban Warrenville Monday. The flying-saucer-looking device is a 220-ton cyclotron that came all the way from Belgium. It's part of the Central DuPage Hospital Proton Therapy Center. What it does is accelerate protons for use in proton therapy. It's an alternative treatment to x-ray radiation.
Proponents say proton therapy is more effective because a proton beam can be more finely directed at a cancerous tumor.
DuPage County has two proton therapy centers planned just miles from each other. They are expected to begin treating patients in early 2011.
Right now there are only six such centers in the United States.