ST. LOUIS -- Proton radiation, designed to get rid of cancerous cells but spare healthy tissue, is now available for the first time in St. Louis.
The first use of proton radiation occurred Thursday at Barnes-Jewish Hospital during treatment of Steven Osborne, who has a brain tumor.
The proton machine cost $20 million and was delivered to the hospital in 2011. Software glitches held up use of the machine. Larger proton systems have previously opened at 11 other locations around the country.
Not everyone is a supporter. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that some criticize the massive and expensive machines as a symbol of rising health care costs, and note that there is no evidence that patient outcomes are better.