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Cancer center prepares for huge proton treatment machine

Diseases and IllnessesHighway and Road TransportationCancerKSWBVarian Medical Systems Inc.Mergers, Acquisitions and Takeovers

MIRA MESA, Calif. - The "heart" of a new cancer treatment facility being built in Mira Mesa is expected to arrive in San Diego this week.  

A 95-ton cyclotron will make its way to San Diego from Port Hueneme near Oxnard, escorted by California Highway Patrol and filling up two lanes of Interstate 5.

"It's a complex piece of technology," said Lester Boeh with Varian Medical Systems, the company that built the cyclotron. "The cyclotron is the heart of the system."

The cyclotron is part of the Scripps Proton Therapy Center.  Proton therapy involves shooting protons into cancer patients to target tumors.  According to Scripps Health, the procedure is less invasive and harmful than conventional radiation therapy.

Getting the Cyclotron to Mira Mesa is a long, tedious process.  It was built in Germany and shipped to California.  Starting Tuesday, CHP will escort the 20-foot wide, 114-foot long load down Interstate 5, clogging up two lanes of late night and early morning traffic.

CHP said the equipment will be parked off the freeway near La Jolla on Thursday morning.  Officials don't believe it will cause any traffic problems.

Scripps Health could not comment Monday on the Cyclotron or its transport, preferring to wait until a scheduled press conference next week.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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Diseases and IllnessesHighway and Road TransportationCancerKSWBVarian Medical Systems Inc.Mergers, Acquisitions and Takeovers
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