UT drops proposed proton therapy partnership

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The University of Tennessee has given up on a proposed partnership with a proton therapy center in Knoxville that university officials had hoped would bring in millions for new academic and research programs.

Proton therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses a beam of protons to irradiate tumors without harming surrounding tissue. Local businessman Terry Douglass has spearheaded the development of the Provision Center for Proton Therapy in Knoxville.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that UT's deal with Provision depended on the Legislature's allowing the university to guarantee up to $98 million of the project's costs in exchange for a 30 percent interest in the company.

But lawmakers questioned the financial risk to the university as well as the effectiveness of the treatment.

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