Boca Raton Regional Hospital to Provide Proton Therapy
Partnership with ProCure will offer most advanced radiation therapy for many cancers
BOCA RATON, FL – February 1, 2012 – Officials at Boca Raton Regional Hospital and ProCure Treatment Centers, Inc. (“ProCure”) today announced a strategic alliance that will result in proton radiation therapy being used to treat patients on the campus of the hospital beginning in 2015. The facility will be only the eleventh proton therapy treatment center in the United States and join a prestigious list of institutions that offer the technology including the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Loma Linda University, Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania. Contacts
“The addition of proton therapy expands our capabilities in radiation oncology exponentially,” said Tim Williams, MD, Medical Director of Radiation Oncology at Boca Regional’s Eugene M. & Christine E. Lynn Cancer Institute. “By bringing the most advanced radiation treatment machine in the world to Boca Raton, we will greatly enhance our Cancer Institute’s reputation as a destination program for cancer patients.”
According to Dr. Williams, proton therapy is a form of radiation treatment without many of the short and long-term side effects often experienced with standard radiation therapy and is the most advanced cancer treatment for many types of tumors. Studies have shown proton therapy to be effective in treating brain, head and neck, central nervous system, lung, pediatric and prostate tumors, as well as cancers that cannot be removed completely by surgery.
Unlike standard radiation therapy (which uses X-rays), proton therapy is much more precise, killing cancer cells and reducing the risk of damage to nearby structures. The difference between the two therapies is that protons deposit almost all of their energy (radiation) directly in the tumor, allowing patients to receive higher, more effective doses, and reducing damage to healthy tissue near the tumor. Research shows proton therapy can cause fewer short and long-term side effects than standard radiation therapy, reduce the occurrence of secondary tumors and improve patients’ quality of life.
Proton therapy is safe, non-invasive and painless for most patients. It does not require an overnight stay in the hospital. Depending on the type of tumor, treatments can be given in a day or may take up to eight weeks. The total number of treatments needed depends on the location, size, and type of the tumor. Actual time under beam is several minutes but total daily treatment sessions typically range from 15 to 30 minutes due to the time spent positioning the patient for this precise treatment.
Proton therapy patients experience fewer side effects inherent in all therapies that use X-ray radiation, including IMRT, cyberknife, or other radiosurgeries.
“Unlike X-ray radiation, the inherent advantages of proton therapy allow higher doses to be used, and it can be used with chemotherapy or other biological therapies because it generally affects less bone marrow or other normal tissue near the target. Even when standard radiation is a good alternative for a patient, there is a point at which no further X-ray radiation can be tolerated and treatment must be stopped. Proton therapy may be an option for some of those patients as well,” said Dr. Williams.
The Center’s 50,000 square foot facility will house a superconducting cyclotron that generates the proton beam and weighs over 200,000 lbs. It feeds the ultra-high energy particle beam into massive three-story gantries and then into individual treatment rooms where they are precisely targeted into a patient’s tumor. The device will incorporate many new advances in technology unavailable on other proton machines that will allow unsurpassed flexibility, accuracy, and safety.
The facility itself will be a model for patient comfort and convenience with many built-in amenities designed to enhance and support the patient’s holistic experience, building on the level of care currently experienced by patients at the Lynn Cancer Institute. It will be the perfect complement to the recently announced Marcus Neuroscience Institute, where cutting-edge treatments and world-class research will be conducted on all aspects of the neurosciences, including neuro-oncology. The combination of the two centers will make Boca Raton Regional Hospital one of the leading centers in the entire world for the treatment of brain tumors. The proton center will also be affiliated with the Physics Department at Florida Atlantic University, whose graduate students will come for education and training. And it will bring dozens of skilled, high technology jobs to the local area.
The center will be operated by ProCure, the country’s leading provider of proton therapy. ProCure currently operates proton centers in Oklahoma City and Chicago, has a third center opening this spring in New Jersey with a fourth in the construction phase in Seattle. Boca Raton will be their fifth center and they continue to pursue opportunities in the United States and around the world. Boca Raton Regional Hospital will provide the land and a portion of the financial commitment. Physicians on the staff of Boca Raton Regional Hospital and the Lynn Cancer Institute will provide the clinical services.
“ProCure is excited to bring proton therapy to Boca Raton Regional Hospital and patients with cancer in south Florida. We look forward to moving ahead with this project and making treatment available for patients,” said Chris Chandler, Senior Vice President for ProCure. Hadley Ford, CEO of ProCure, added, “We believe that Boca Raton Regional Hospital and the Lynn Cancer Institute has the perfect combination of commitment, infrastructure, vision and values to make this a tremendously successful project.”
“The creation of a ProCure Center on the campus of Boca Regional is indicative of our cancer program’s mission to provide the most advanced, sophisticated and effective therapies for our patients with cancer,” said Jerry Fedele, President and CEO of Boca Raton Regional Hospital. “This facility, coupled with our present capabilities at the Lynn Cancer Institute and the recently announced Marcus Neuroscience Institute, will provide a nexus of cancer care that is truly second to none.”
Thomas Chakurda, 561.955.3586
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