Bortfeld talks about the MGH team's developments in areas such as monitoring the path of a proton beam in the patient, and the use of mathematics to optimize treatment planning. He also shares his thoughts on what it is like to move from an academic research setting to the dynamic environment of a working hospital.

Finally, Bortfeld discusses the second proton therapy centre that's being built at MGH. The new facility will help satisfy the increased clinical demand for proton therapy, as well as housing state-of-the-art technology such as high-resolution beam scanning. Plans are to treat the first patient in about two years' time, he says.

"My strong belief and expectations is that in the future proton therapy will not only be a better option for patient treatments but also one that is not necessarily more expensive than conventional X-ray treatments," said Bortfeld.