The University of Washington Medical Cyclotron Facility is a one-of-a-kind cancer treatment and research facility. At its center is the world’s only hospital-based, 50 MeV multi-particle, variable energy cyclotron capable of delivering fast neutron therapy and supporting innovative cancer research programs.
The facility, which is housed in the University of Washington Medical Center and run by the Department of Radiation Oncology, was built in the early 80s as part of a National Cancer Institute grant that installed neutron therapy equipment in four teaching hospitals around the country. Today, the UWMCF is the only cyclotron still in operation from that original NCI grant, with a full-time dedicated staff of engineers and physicists committed to the ongoing study of high linear energy transfer (LET) radiation therapy.
The UWMCF was recently certified as a silver-level lab as part of UW’s Green Lab Certification Program, which recognizes laboratories that operate sustainably in the areas of energy usage, communication materials, waste, chemical usage, water usage and more.
The UWMCF is maintained at the highest standards by a full-time independent staff of engineers and physicists. We are continually incorporating technical and mechanical upgrades, improving both the fast neutron therapy patient experience, as well as supporting and collaborating on specific research needs, i.e. targetry design and beam modeling.
Our dedicated team has a full set of documentation, enabling us to independently maintain the facility at exceptional quality and to not be dependent on outside manufacturer service contracts. The result is little-to-no downtime and minimal disruption to both clinical and research programs. With our rolling upgrade model, the facility never experiences extended periods of maintenance shut downs.
UWMCF has beam time available for research programs outside the University of Washington system. The facility is in full operation 4 days a week, 52 weeks a year.
Patient treatment: Tues-Fri, 8am-6pm.
Research: Tues-Fri, 5am-7:30am, 6pm-11pm, Sat/Sun on request.
Monday generally reserved for maintenance unless otherwise requested.
Fast neutron therapy (FNT) is a high linear energy transfer (LET) type of radiation often used to treat certain tumors that are radioresistant, meaning they are very difficult to kill using conventional X-ray radiation therapy. FNT has proven to be very effective in treating certain head and neck cancers, particularly adenoid cystic carcinoma. The UWMCF is the only FNT facility in the United States and one of two available for clinical use in the world.
Because of ongoing capital investments in the cyclotron, the UWMCF has become the leading facility in the world in the production of certain radionuclides, specifically Astatine 211 (At211). Scott Wilbur Ph.D., a professor and researcher at UW, has developed methods of stabilizing and purifying the At211. Working in close collaboration with scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research, they have made significant advances in the field of molecular radiotherapy.
The UWMCF has enabled the development and expansion of an image-guided Precision Proton Radiotherapy Platform to better understand how beams react to tumors at the particle level. The PPRP, overseen by Eric Ford Ph.D., researcher and faculty member of the UW Department of Radiation Oncology, is integrated with a proton beam and is capable of sub-milimeter precision, enabling the study of cell cultures and small animal models.
The UWMCF provides particle beams to simulate high radiation environments and a means for accelerated lifespan testing. In addition to available proton, deuteron, and alpha beams, we also can generate a neutron flux and have the ability to model interactions using MCNPX (Monte Carol modeling program) to assist with experiment design and provide improved outcomes. The facility has a machine shop available for on-site modifications and target/degrader/collimator manufacturing.
1959 NE Pacific Street
Seattle, WA 98195
Director, Robert Emery, MS
Operations Engineer, Eric Dorman, BS