LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A medical milestone at UAMS is set to change how cancer is treated through radiation therapy.

A Proton Cyclotron arrived Thursday, finishing off what will be the hospital’s new Proton Center for Radiation Oncology.

Traditional radiation can be very damaging. It can burn the patient’s skin and tissue between the skin and the tumor.

That’s not the case with proton radiation.

“Protons enter the body harmlessly. They’ll do none of that,” Michael Birrer with the Winthrop Rockefeller Cancer Center said. “They won’t damage the muscle or anything, and then they will slow down right at the tumor and release the energy.”

UAMS is partnering with Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Baptist Health and Proton International to bring this equipment to Little Rock.

It’s part of a $65 million expansion for UAMS’ Radiation Oncology Center.