Kadean Building Second Underground Proton Therapy Vault at Siteman Cancer Center

By on January 10, 2019

From RiverBender:  Kadean Construction has begun building a 48,000 cubic foot, underground concrete vault to house a 120 ton cyclotron for Siteman Cancer Center’s second proton treatment facility in St. Louis, it was announced today.

The vault is being built beneath a parking garage on the Washington University Medical Campus, which also includes Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children’s Hospital, in the city’s Central West End.

When completed in mid-to-late 2019, the 40-foot deep vault will house the massive cyclotron, which will produce a focused beam of isolated protons for “pencil-beam scanning,” an advanced form of radiation therapy for patients treated at the S. Lee Kling Proton Therapy Center at Siteman.

In this type of radiation therapy, a single, narrow proton beam is aimed with great precision directly at a cancerous tumor and adjusted for intensity. Its precision helps to spare surrounding healthy tissues and organs and reduce the risk of treatment-related complications, according to experts.

The total cost of the project, which is scheduled to completed in mid-to-late 2019, is $32 million, including $17 million for the cyclotron and related infrastructure provided by Mevion Medical Systems.

The underground proton vault will be 30 feet wide, 40 feet long, and 40 feet tall, and made mostly of high-density concrete with walls that are four feet thick, said Matt Breeze, vice-president of Kadean Construction, based in Fenton, a suburb of St. Louis.

Upon completion, the finished patient treatment room will actually be located in the middle of what is now a cavernous, three-story area. The massive cyclotron and its infrastructure will encompass the treatment room, although it will never be seen by patients or the doctors.

“This is a very complex project,” Breeze said. “We had to dig all the way to bedrock, and then we had to excavate and remove three-to-six feet of bedrock, which serves as the foundation for the concrete floor and the walls of the vault.”

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