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Medical and Commercial Use of IUCF
Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute (MPRI)
Compared to traditional X-ray treatment, radiation oncology with protons is said to have the advantage of more accurate localization of the delivered dose and of reduced exposure of healthy tissue. At IUCF, irradiation of living organisms started with mice in 1990. A human brain tumor was treated in 1993 (with special FDA approval) and a year later a proton therapy facility was funded. In 2007 the first regular patient was treated with a robotic positioning system.
In 2011, the center was renamed to IU Health Proton Therapy Center and featured a medical director, a clinic and two treatment rooms with gantry systems.
After treating 2079 patients, the center, and with it IUCF, closed on December 5, 2014 due to lack of revenue and debt incurred by the center, as well as advances in proton therapy around the country.
Radiation Effects Research Program (RERP)
NASA Johnson Space Center sponsored two radiation effects research stations (RERS1 and RERS2) to study the damaging effects of ionizing radiation on electronic components and systems. The proton beam was used to simulate radiation environments as they exist naturally in space and man-made radiation environments. Use of the beam was available to researchers from government and industry for a fee. Among the fifty or so companies using the proton beam were NASA, SpaceX, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Intel, BAE systems.