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2011: First Patients Complete Proton Therapy Treatment
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First Patients Complete Proton Therapy Treatment

Prostate, brain and pediatric cancers among first treated at Illinois’ only proton therapy center

WARRENVILLE, Ill., (Jan. 19, 2011) – Two months after the opening of the CDH Proton Center, A ProCure Center, the first patients have “graduated” from their treatment surrounded by family, friends and staff. The group of graduating patients, whose tumors included prostate, brain and a non-cancerous tumor on the spinal cord, received proton therapy, an alternative to standard X-ray radiation that spares healthy tissue and results in far fewer short- and long-term treatment side effects.

The Center, which is the first proton therapy center in Illinois and just the ninth such center in the country, celebrated its grand opening Oct. 19, three months ahead of schedule.

“The fact that this Center was able to open ahead of schedule was fate for our daughter, who endured four surgeries and multiple rounds of chemotherapy before it was time for proton therapy,” said Carl Meier of Glenview, Ill., whose 10-year-old daughter Zoe was treated for a brain tumor at the Center. “We knew proton therapy was the best course of treatment, but we were nervous about relocating for a couple months to another city where there was a proton center. For almost nine years we have battled her condition and she has remained strong. We are confident that now that she has completed her six-weeks of proton treatment, we can begin putting this behind us.”

“We are very pleased to see how well our patients are doing as they finish their treatments,” said William Hartsell, M.D., medical director of the CDH Proton Center, A ProCure Center. “It is very exciting to bring this powerful treatment option to the Chicago area. There are literally thousands of patients in the metropolitan area alone who could benefit, and many more in neighboring states where proton centers are not yet available.”

Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation treatment and an important alternative to standard X-ray radiation for many patients with cancer and for some non-cancerous tumors. Proton therapy has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of a broad range of tumor types including brain, central nervous system, gastrointestinal, head and neck, lung and prostate as well as sarcomas and many pediatric cancers. The precision of proton therapy makes it especially effective for treating children and adults with anatomically complex tumors such base of skull and tumors along the spinal cord. 

“When our daughter was diagnosed with a non-cancerous spinal tumor that could grow and possibly cause paralysis, it was a scary time for our entire family,” said Heidi Lomasney of Wheaton, Ill., whose 16-year-old daughter recently finished treatment at the Center. “We were told protons were her best option since they could treat the tumor without causing the serious side effects that were likely with surgery or radiation. We were elated when it opened early because not only could we get started on the treatment she needed, but we could get it without having to uproot our entire lives.”

The CDH Proton Center, A ProCure Center is the second in a network of centers developed and operated by ProCure Treatment Centers, Inc (ProCure). Conveniently located near Rt. 88 on Weaver Parkway in Warrenville, the 60,000 sq. ft. proton center features four treatment rooms that, once fully operational, will have the capacity to treat up to 1,500 patients per year. The CDH Cancer Center, located adjacent to the proton therapy center, provides comprehensive cancer care in a single, convenient outpatient location and houses a variety of radiation oncology treatment services and offers many social services to assist patients and their families.

“It is very rewarding to graduate our first patients from the Center, to see the smiles, hear the stories and experience the warm relationships and camaraderie that has developed among them,” said James R. Williams, president of the CDH Proton Center, A ProCure Center. “We strive to create a welcoming and caring environment and it is rewarding to know that we are helping so many people.”

Patients at the proton therapy center benefit from the collaboration involving Central DuPage Hospital (CDH), Radiation Oncology Consultants (ROC) and ProCure. Clinical care at the proton center is being provided by physicians from ROC, the state's largest private practice radiation oncology group. ROC is one of the top radiation oncology practices in the Chicago area, with 15 physicians who treat a comprehensive array of tumor types, caring for more patients than any other radiation oncology practice in Illinois.

About CDH Proton Center, A ProCure Center
CDH Proton Center, A ProCure Center, Warrenville, Ill., is one of only a handful of facilities in the country that offer proton therapy, an advanced form of radiation to treat cancer. The Center is the first and only proton center in Illinois and will treat about 1,500 patients a year. The precision of proton therapy spares healthy tissue and results in far fewer short- and long-term side effects than treatment with standard X-ray radiation therapy. Proton therapy has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of a broad range of tumor types. The CDH Proton Center, A ProCure Center, is a collaboration between Central DuPage Hospital, Radiation Oncology Consultants and ProCure Treatment Centers, Inc. ProCure was founded in 2005 in Bloomington, Ind., and is developing a network of proton therapy centers in cities across the United States. For more information, visit www.procure.com/il.