Chicago proton company previews cyclotron

Officials from Northern Illinois Proton Treatment and Research Center (NIPTRC; Chicago) and Northern Illinois University (DeKalb, Illinois) visited the production facility of Varian/ACCEL (Cologne, Germany) recently to observe construction of the massive cyclotron being developed and built for the $160 million NIPTRC facility planned for West Chicago, Illinois.

The unit will be used to deliver state of the art proton beams to cancer patients during radiation therapy when the facility opens in 2010.

"We are delighted with the progress being made on the NIPTRC cyclotron and fully expect the unit will be delivered on time and on budget to its home in West Chicago, sometime in the spring of 2009," said NIPTRC Executive Director John Lewis.

"This is an important trip for everyone involved in this project because the cyclotron is the most critical piece of equipment needed in developing a proton therapy center," said Lewis. "We look forward to continuing our collaboration with international leaders in the proton therapy field in order to bring the best treatment and research center to Chicagoland."

Covidien launches sleep management program

Covidien (Boulder, Colorado) reported the launch of Sandman Alliance, a sleep therapy management program. The Sandman Alliance program is the latest addition to Covidien's "Unite to Treat Sleep Apnea" initiative to improve the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders.

The Sandman Alliance program unites patients, sleep clinicians and home care providers in their efforts to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and other sleep disorders. The patient compliance program provides education, support and encouragement to OSA patients to enhance treatment compliance through personal coaching and empowerment.

The program links a sleep counselor with each patient to document progress and track the patient's therapy using a web interface, which provides a common area for the patient's sleep physician to log in and monitor the patient's performance under the program.