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When the Emory Proton Therapy Center opened its doors on Thursday, it was already a symbol of triumph over challenges. The center—which provides proton therapy to treat cancer and is especially beneficial for treating tumors of the lungs, back and spine, and head and neck—is the first and only facility of its kind in the state. There are 29 other such centers in the United States and another 23 under construction or in planning stages. With five treatment rooms, Emory’s center is among the largest.