A look inside the Jacobson building

Proton Beam Tour

ROCHESTER, Minn. — It is a nearly $200 million project sparked by one of the largest ever donations to the Mayo Clinic and now it is coming together.

The Richard O. Jacobson Building is home to Mayo Clinic’s proton beam therapy and construction is wrapping up.

Out of the 25 to 30 proton centers in the world, this is home to some of the most advanced technology.

“We use scanning magnets to take something that’s a pencil maybe a little bit smaller than my finger and paint it over the tumor so x and y and change the depth by changing the energy of the beam, this way being able to very accurately paint the dose over the tumor,” said Dr. Michael Herman in Mayo’s Radiation Oncology Department.

Most use the previous “scattered beam” technology where Mayo will soon be using what is called a “pencil beam.”

“Thinking of coloring a picture with a crayon, you’d rather have a sharp crayon than a fat crayon to color within the lines, so the smaller the beam, the more we can keep within the lines,” said Dr. Robert Foote in Mayo’s Radiation Oncology Department.

It is expected to open in the summer of 2015 and serve around 1,200 patients a year.

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