History & Future

MD Anderson has a history of leadership in radiation oncology. Our researchers designed and tested the first cobalt-60 radiation unit in the country, making radiation treatments more effective and affordable. Radiotherapy head Gilbert H. Fletcher, M.D., pioneered its development with Leonard G. Grimmett, M.D., and engineer Bailey Moore.

In the 1960s, when the National Cancer Institute needed an institution to spearhead creation of uniform radiation dosimetry standards, it turned to MD Anderson.

Today, we have one of the world's most comprehensive collections of radiation equipment and treatment techniques.

Proton Therapy: The Next Frontier

The Proton Therapy Center at The University of Texas MD Anderson is now accepting patients for the most advanced form of radiation treatment available in the Southwest. Proton therapy provides MD Anderson radiation oncologists with a new weapon in their arsenal to fight cancer. The 94,000 square-foot center is located at Old Spanish Trail and Fannin, just south of the Texas Medical Center. Proton therapy has several advantages over standard radiation treatments: 

Precise delivery of maximum energy: Unlike other radiation particles that lose energy as they pass through the body, protons deliver most of their energy near the end of their range. Protons can be programmed to deliver a maximum dose to the tumor, while sparing healthy tissues and organs.

Predictability and control: The effect of protons can be predicted based on decades of experience with photons. Protons also conform well to narrow, exact beams, making them especially appropriate for treating small areas.