The University of Maryland's growing BioPark in West Baltimore will get a $200 million boost from plans announced Wednesday by the School of Medicine to team with private partners on a state-of-the-art proton cancer treatment center. Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown said the center would create 325 construction jobs, 110 permanent jobs and attract 2,000 patients a year. "It will also continue the state's and Baltimore City's investment in the communities of West Baltimore," he said.Slated for completion in 2014, the new therapy center would provide noninvasive outpatient treatment for a variety of cancers, with a promise of more precise radiation targeting of tumors and fewer side effects, especially for children. Dr. E. Albert Reece, vice president for medical affairs at the university, said the school's "world-class expertise" in cancer treatment brought the project to Baltimore, together with "anticipated private investment of $200 million and the addition of new highly skilled, high-paying jobs to operate the center." The university joins a growing number of medical centers where proton treatment centers are being built, despite some dispute over the enormous construction costs, higher treatment costs and a scarcity of clinical data showing that the therapy saves more lives than conventional X-ray treatments.
Kim Hairston, Baltimore Sun