Roberts family donates to cancer center

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Brian RobertsThe founding family of cable operator Comcast Corp. will donate $15 million toward a new proton therapy center for treating cancer at the University of Pennsylvania, the company and school officials said Wednesday.

The $144 million Penn center would be one of six in the nation using proton therapy, which targets cancerous tumors precisely by using a beam of tiny particles accelerated to near light-speed.

The donation from Comcast Chief Executive Officer Brian L. Roberts and his wife, Aileen, and by Brian's mother and father, Suzanne and Ralph Roberts comes 11 days after Aileen Roberts completed radiation treatment for breast cancer. Comcast is the nation's biggest cable system operator.

The Roberts Proton Therapy Center, scheduled to open in 2009, will receive most of its funding from the federal government and Penn Medicine and Children's Hospital.

Proton therapy is improving the treatment of tumors close to vital organs and in children because it causes less damage to surrounding healthy tissue than traditional radiation, center organizers said.

source - Business Week 

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