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Proton Therapy Construction Update: Massive Concrete Pour

Progress is being made on the construction of the Proton Therapy facility at Froedtert Hospital. Workers recently poured around 450 cubic yards of concrete at the site. That’s enough to fill up about 46 concrete trucks.

It took more than six hours to pour the concrete to form the foundation walls of the facility. The largest wall is eight feet thick. The unusually thick foundation walls are needed to protect patients and staff from radiation. The walls also house a maze of cables for the proton therapy equipment.

The concrete pour requires extraordinary precision in design and construction. It is done in phases to ensure the concrete cures correctly and the structure meets certain specifications. The concrete pours will continue in the coming months. Another pour will take place the week of July 10. Crews will add another 12 feet of concrete to the existing walls, building them up vertically as they go.

Proton therapy delivers a precisely targeted dose of radiation directly to a tumor using high-energy beams of proton particles rather than X-rays. Proton-based treatment can deliver high-dose radiation that conforms to the shape of a tumor while avoiding healthy tissues and organs in very close proximity to the tumor.

Currently, proton therapy is not available in Wisconsin. The Froedtert & the MCW health network expects to start treating patients through its Cancer Network with this advanced radiation technology in 2025.