MIAMI (WSVN) - The Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida unveiled its new 220-ton proton therapy cyclotron Tuesday morning.

According to the hospital, it provides the most precise form of proton radiation treatment available, destroying cancer cells with highly-concentrated doses of radiation without hitting healthy issue. It minimizes side effects, according to the hospital, and is especially effective in treating childhood cancers and cancers of the brain, liver and lung, as well as certain left-sided breast cancers and prostate cancers.

The hospital said the therapy will be available at the Institute beginning in 2017.

“The arrival of the cyclotron signifies the beginning of the most sophisticated cancer treatment technology in the history of our organization,” said Brian E. Keeley, president and CEO of Baptist Health South Florida. “This historic milestone is not just one for Baptist Health to celebrate, but one for our entire community, as we come together in the fight against cancer.”

Cancer survivor Henry Marquez recommended the therapy treatment to anyone eligible for it.

“From me being told this was terminal to being cancer free, this was a God send,” said Marquez. “I recommend this for anybody that is eligible to receive this treatment.”

The Miami Cancer Institute, a $430 million facility on the campus of the Baptist Hospital of Miami, is scheduled to open in 2016.

“This is the most cutting-edge proton therapy technology available,” said Minesh Mehta, M.D., deputy director of the Miami Cancer Institute and chief of radiation oncology. “It uses a pencil-beam approach, allowing us to target more complicated tumors and, for most situations, further decreases radiation exposure to normal tissues in comparison to older proton techniques. That means that there is significantly less damage to healthy tissue, a decrease in side effects and less chance of a recurrence of cancer due to radiation exposure.”

The Miami Cancer Institute is the only proton therapy center in South Florida.

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