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UAMS Opens New $65 Million Radiation Oncology Center

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UAMS Opens New $65 Million Radiation Oncology Center


The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute recently opened a new Radiation Oncology Center with expanded capabilities to provide advanced radiation treatments for children and adults with cancer, including the state’s first Proton Center. 

The $65 million, 58,000-square-foot structure at 3900 W. Capitol Ave. in Little Rock was built to accommodate three new linear accelerators that customize radiation delivery based on the type and stage of a patient’s cancer. 

“The opening of this facility marks an unprecedented commitment to the future of cancer treatment in Arkansas and the region,” said UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA. “The innovative therapies and advanced technology available here place UAMS among the top centers worldwide at the forefront of cancer treatment.”


The UAMS Radiation Oncology Center is the only cancer center in Arkansas to offer Ethos Adaptive Therapy, a unique form of X-ray radiation that adapts to daily changes in a tumor’s shape and position throughout treatment. 

They also offer Edge Radiosurgery, a specialized nonsurgical technique used to destroy tumors in the brain and spine with end-to-end accuracy of less than one millimeter, and radiotherapy with motion management, which controls radiation directed at tumors that move as patients breathe. 

The center will open for adult and pediatric patients needing X-ray radiation on July 24. UAMS already provides radiation therapy for children and adults with a broad range of cancers and is the only provider of pediatric radiation therapy in Arkansas. About half of all cancer patients need some form of radiation. 

The second floor of the new center will house the 9,000-square-foot Proton Center of Arkansas, a collaboration between UAMS, Baptist Health, Arkansas Children’s and Proton International. It will open in October. Proton therapy is an innovative radiation treatment that harnesses proton particles that can destroy solid tumors in hard-to-reach areas. Proton radiation reduces the amount of healthy tissue exposed to radiation and minimizes side effects. 

“This center will provide the most advanced cancer radiation medicine in the world that will give patients the best chance of survival and quality of life,” said Dr. Michael Birrer, UAMS vice chancellor and director of the Cancer Institute. “We now have everything a patient needs right here at home without them having to leave the state for these cutting-edge treatments.” 

The expansion will also support the Radiation Oncology Center’s active clinical research and clinical trial programs. UAMS radiation oncologists currently have nine active clinical trials testing treatments for breast, prostate, head and neck, and non-small cell lung cancers. Eleven additional studies, including three involving proton, are in progress. The trials include national cooperative group studies collecting information on new treatments from multiple cancer centers and trials from UAMS radiation oncologists. 

Designed by Wittenberg, Delony & Davidson, the new center features a massive glass exterior that brings natural light into the waiting rooms to support physical and emotional health. A large skylight in the center of the building also brings in natural light. 

The UAMS Radiation Oncology Center is ranked nationally as a Program of Excellence by the American Society of Radiation Oncology. The center employs 75 people, including board-certified radiation oncologists, licensed medical physicists, radiation therapists, dosimetrists, nurses and support staff experienced in treating children and adults with a broad range of cancers. Center director Fen Xia, M.D., Ph.D., is a fellow of the American Society of Radiation Oncology, a designation awarded to only 4% of the organization’s 10,000 members. 

The Radiation Oncology Center is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Appointments for new patients are available by calling 501-664-4568.x

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