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Single-Room Proton Radiation Therapy Systems: No Small Change

      In the 1990s, Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis affiliated with Washington University School of Medicine and began investigating possibilities of proton radiation therapy. During this period, the only systems available were multi-room systems and with costs that would often require third-party investors to be involved. In addition, space was an issue: the medical center’s long-range plans for new and replacement construction would have had to have been detoured significantly by having to include a large proton facility. Land as far away as 17 miles was considered, although that was thought to be non-desirable in terms of integration with the current existing facility. St. Louis has a population of approximately 1.4 million, for the metropolitan and local suburban areas. The estimation of patients who would truly benefit did not project a need for a 3- or 4-room facility.
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