Ann Barshinger Cancer Center Patient Support Groups Night & Proton Machine Tour

wbcgaruss Member Posts: 2,217 Member

It was recently the cancer center near where I live had an evening event combining all the support groups into a get-together evening of survivorship and fellowship. Penn Medicine, Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute. Pizza of many varieties was provided with a variety of drinks and people mingled, ate, and drank their fill. Also, our Nurse Navigators, dietitians, chaplains, and other caregivers were there to answer questions and offer support.

The highlight of the evening was touring the Proton Machine which opened in October of 2022 and a couple of the other machines that provide radiation. We are truly Blessed to have such a cancer center in this area and now the addition of a Proton Therapy Machine. The new facility is the only proton therapy center in Central Pennsylvania and represents a $48 million investment in innovative and essential patient care in Lancaster County and surrounding communities.

Please bear with these pictures and study them a bit as it is hard to capture the detail and enormity of some of this due to closeness and shooting angles, I hope they are satisfactory. The highlight of this was they let us behind the scenes to see what is behind the wall to the inner workings of the machine. Here we are at the entrance and inside the front office area of the Proton Therapy...

Here we are headed back to the treatment area...

Here is a window you can look through just inside the treatment room which lets you see behind the wall and some inner workings and see the inside of the machine somewhat, note the huge copper pipe, I would estimate it at 6 or 8 inches in diameter.

Now we are in the patient treatment area where the table is and the delivery system to the patient, I think it is technically called the gantry. The fellow giving us the tour said this is now the most advanced Proton machine in the country. I believe the blue lighting pattern would be very comforting to the patient.

Now we are headed behind the scenes to the inner workings, structure, and mechanics of this thing, a behind the scenes tour if you will...the sheer size, complexity, and amount of wiring, structure, and hoses, or whatever is truly amazing. To be sure these pictures do not do it justice. There is nothing like seeing it firsthand so if you ever get a chance to tour one don't pass it up. I believe the first photo is of the gantry coming in that delivers treatment to the patient.

Please note we are on the catwalk...looking over the railing...

Check out the amazing array of mechanical structures and items and what must be miles of wire, tubes, and hoses all organized in a coherent fashion and looking so neatly bundled. And it makes me wonder how someone can think up this stuff and bring it into a working model, amazing.

That was the end of the Proton tour but then they took us to see two other machines for delivering radiation-first the Varian Halcyon radiation machine which the lady referred to as a linear accelerator. Note the beautiful skylight in the ceiling.

Then last but not least on the tour the Cyberknife. The CyberKnife radiation therapy (SBRT) system empowers clinicians to confidently deliver personalized treatments to more patients. As the only robotic radiosurgery system that can deliver non-surgical stereotactic treatments with sub-millimeter accuracy, anywhere in the body — including the prostate, lung, brain, spine, liver, pancreas and kidney — the CyberKnife S7 System sets new standards for versatility. The CyberKnife S7 System redefines the future of hypofractionated radiation, combining best-in-class robotic precision with proven Synchrony® technology to enable the world’s only motion-synchronized, AI-driven, real-time treatment delivery adaptation for all indications and treatments. This enables clinicians to confidently deliver precise, highly effective hypofractionated radiation treatments — without sacrificing delivery speed, workflow efficiency or patient comfort. This type of radiation delivery is also used in a similar fashion as Proton when Proton is not available.

I hope you enjoyed the little tour of the Proton and other radiation machines at The Ann Barshinger Cancer Center in Lancaster, PA.

Wishing You The Best

Take Care, God Bless



  • goffrey
    goffrey Member Posts: 26 Member

    How cool! I had proton therapy and at Mayo Clinic the gantry is able to treat 4 different patients in 4 different rooms at once. It rotates between each room. So I would get my first round then wait around 5 minutes or so for each other person in each room to get their dose and then the next round and so on. Mayo is actually building yet another Proton system to do 4 more people at once so they will have the largest proton treatment system in the world! The man who contributed over 100 million for the first Proton center to be built is an Iowa businessman Richard Jacobsen. I am from Iowa thought this was amazing!