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2008: Board Delays Decision on Proton Therapy Center of CDH
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Board Delays Decision on Proton Therapy Center of CDH

Hospital to Submit Additional Information to Support Plans to Build Cancer Treatment Center

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., April 8, 2008 – Central DuPage Hospital will provide additional information on its plans to build a $140 million proton therapy treatment center in Warrenville to the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board (IHFPB), following its action today on the hospital's Certificate of Need application for the Proton Therapy Center of Central DuPage Hospital. The board voted 3 to 1 against the proton center project resulting in an "intent to deny" action that provides the hospital 30 days to respond to questions raised during today's meeting. 

The proposed proton therapy center is a joint venture involving CDH, Radiation Oncology Consultations, Ltd. (ROCL) - Chicago's largest radiation oncology group - and ProCure Treatment Centers, a Bloomington, Ind.-based company that specializes in developing world-class proton therapy centers.

"We are not surprised by the board's decision and believe we can provide the information members need to approve this important treatment center," said Jim Spear, executive vice president and chief financial officer of CDH. "This is the first time the board has considered a certificate of need application for a proton therapy center and we understand that there are no established criteria available to judge some of the elements of our project. We responded to some of those areas today and will be able to provide more detailed information in our next submission."

William Hartsell, M.D., president of ROCL, said, "Our project is an important addition to the care of cancer patients in this state and is the first center to be presented to the board that is viable and fully funded. We have FDA-approved equipment, a proton therapy partner with experience building centers, and a nationally recognized hospital partner that can provide patient support services."

"The planning board staff has done a thorough review of our application against existing criteria and we respect their need for additional analysis," said Hadley Ford, chief executive officer of ProCure Treatment Centers. "We are anxious to move forward and bring this needed therapy to Illinois patients."

Experts estimate that every year, more than 10,000 Illinois cancer patients would be candidates for proton therapy, an advanced treatment that is an alternative to traditional radiation therapy but without the short- and long-term side effects. There are currently three proton therapy centers under construction and only five centers operating in the United States.  Each center is providing about 1,500 treatment slots per year and there are waiting lists that stretch from weeks to months for patients referred for therapy. If granted approval this spring, the Proton Therapy Center of Central DuPage Hospital could begin treating patients by 2010.

"Postponing treatment weeks, if not months, can be life or death to a cancer patient," said Dr. Hartsell.

The Proton Treatment Center of Central DuPage Hospital will be a four treatment room 58,000-square-foot facility. The development of the treatment center will create approximately 100 full-time jobs and 400 temporary positions for construction and start-up operations. Illinois-based contractors will be used to construct the facility. The project will be funded entirely through private sources. All equipment to be used to treat patients in the center has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which regulates medical devices.

Learn more about proton therapy and the Proton Therapy Center of Central DuPage Hospital at www.ProtonTherapyIllinois.com.


Central DuPage Hospital is a nationally recognized 361-bed facility located in Winfield, Illinois, a suburb west of Chicago. CDH is a leading center for surgical innovations and was one of the first institutions in the nation to offer robotic-assisted surgery, minimally invasive spine surgery with bio-engineered bone protein and was the first Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in DuPage County. Recently, CDH was recognized by U.S. News & World Report on the list of Best Hospitals in the orthopaedics category.

The hospital is part of an interdependent network of health-care organizations and services, including convenient care centers, occupational health services and a full range of options for senior living, home health and hospice care. For more information or to find a doctor, visit www.cdh.org.

ProCure Treatment Centers, Inc., based in Bloomington, Ind., was founded in 2005 by Dr. John Cameron, a particle therapy physics pioneer who was pivotal in the development of the Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute. ProCure provides management support and a model for the complete design, construction, operation and maintenance of world-class proton therapy centers. Through partnerships with leading radiation oncologists and hospitals, ProCure's business model reduces the time, effort and cost involved in creating a facility, which allows physicians more time to focus on patient care. 

ProCure plans to increase the number of centers across the country to make proton therapy affordable and accessible to patients who would benefit from the treatment.  Members of ProCure's team have been involved in the development of five of the seven proton treatment centers currently in operation or under construction.  Most recently, ProCure partnered with the two leading local radiation oncology practices and a health care system in Oklahoma City to build that state's first proton therapy center.  It is scheduled to open in 2009.

For more information, visit www.ProCureCenters.com.

Radiation Oncology Consultants Limited (ROCL), with headquarters in Park Ridge, Ill., is the largest private practice radiation oncology practices in Illinois.

The practice, composed of 12 board certified radiation oncology physicians who provide cancer care to patients at multiple locations, has been an early adopter of leading technologies used in the treatment of cancer. These technologies include: 3-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3DCRT), intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), Gamma Knife radiosurgery, Tomotherapy, prostate seed implants, high dose rate brachytherapy (HDR), and, soon, proton therapy.  For more information, visit www.chicagocancer.com.


Nearly 50,000 cancer patients worldwide have taken advantage of the technology to effectively treat most common types of solid tumor cancers. Proton therapy can be particularly effective in treating children, who are more sensitive than adults to the effects of radiation. Studies have shown proton therapy to be effective in treating prostate, colorectal, head and neck and brain tumors as well as cancers that cannot be removed completely by surgery. Studies also are showing promising results in the treatment of some breast and lung tumors.

Proton therapy is an effective alternative to conventional X-ray radiation treatments, but without many of the side effects patients often experience. Compared to conventional X-ray (photon) radiation therapy, proton therapy can be more precisely targeted to the tumor, allowing patients to receive higher, more effective doses, and greatly reducing damage to healthy tissue near the tumor.  Research shows proton therapy causes fewer short- and long-term side effects than traditional radiation therapy, diminishes the chances of secondary tumors and improves quality of life for patients.

In 1961, the Harvard Cyclotron Laboratory at Harvard University in Boston began treating patients with proton therapy. Advances in imaging technology such as CT, MRI and PET scans, helped researchers to better diagnose and visualize tumors and made proton therapy a more practical treatment option. The first hospital-based proton treatment center in the United States was built in 1990 at Loma Linda University Medical Center in Loma Linda, Calif.

In the United States, proton therapy is currently available at: Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute at Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind.; Frances H. Burr Proton Therapy Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston (affiliated with Harvard Medical School); The Proton Therapy Center at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at University of Texas, Houston; Loma Linda University Medical Center, in Loma Linda, Calif.; University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute, Jacksonville, Fla.  Two centers are scheduled to open in 2009, the University of Pennsylvania Roberts Proton Therapy Center in Philadelphia and the ProCure Oklahoma Proton Therapy Center in Oklahoma City.
1. Miralbell et al. Potential reduction of the incidence of radiation-induced second cancers by using proton beam in the treatment of pediatric tumors.  Int J. Radiat. Oncol. Biol. Phys. 2002;54(3) 824-829.
2. S. Ternier, Ph.D. Proton Therapy White Paper. On file.
3. MacDonald S., DeLaney T. and Loeffler J. Proton Beam Radiation Therapy. Radiation Oncology 2006, 24:199-208.