Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Mayo Clinic is ready to show off its state-of-the-art proton beam therapy center. A grand opening event will take place Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the new Richard O. Jacobson Building next to the Methodist Hospital in downtown Rochester.

After over a decade of planning, Mayo has spent nearly $190 million over the past four years to create the facility, which houses four proton beam therapy stations fed by a powerful particle accelerator.

The technology will allow doctors to shoot a pencil thin beam of the positively charged particles into a patient’s body and deliver high doses of tumor killing radiation to treat cancers while minimizing the damage to surrounding tissue. The therapy will be especially beneficial to children, who face the highest risk of collateral damage to their developing organs from traditional radiation treatments. The new center is scheduled to begin treating patients next month.

Mayo is also developing a proton therapy center at its clinic in Arizona, which is scheduled to open next year.

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