Cancer Survivors Break Ground on Proton Therapy Center
New Proton Therapy Center Will Offer Important Treatment Option for Illinois Patients with Cancer in 2011
WARRENVILLE, Ill., October 20, 2008 — Cancer survivors joined Central DuPage Hospital, Radiation Oncology Consultants and ProCure Treatment Centers to break ground on construction of the new Proton Therapy Center of Central DuPage Hospital, a ProCure Center. When it opens in early 2011, the center will be one of only a handful of centers in the nation to offer proton therapy, an advanced form of radiation treatment for cancer.
"This is an important milestone for cancer treatment in the state of Illinois," said William Hartsell, M.D., president of Radiation Oncology Consultants, the physician partner for the center. "Today culminates five years of hard work to make this a reality for the thousands of patients that could benefit from proton therapy. To finally move forward on behalf of patients with cancer in Illinois and throughout the Midwest is so exciting and relieving at the same time."
"Not only am I alive today because of proton therapy, but I can see," said Susan Heuer of Chicago who was treated for nasopharyngeal cancer earlier this year at the Proton Therapy Center of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "I'm so grateful for receiving one of the limited treatment slots currently available, and I'm thrilled that proton therapy will soon be available closer to home for others who need it."
Mrs. Heuer was one of more than 200 people at the groundbreaking ceremony including other cancer survivors who have benefitted from proton therapy, physicians, community residents and local, state and federal dignitaries such as Tommy Thompson, former Health and Human Services secretary, Illinois State Senators Randy Hultgren and Dan Cronin and Congressman Peter Roskam. The ceremony was held in Warrenville, Ill. on the site of the future center - in the Cantera development near the Winfield Road exit on I-88.
"Today is dedicated to patients with cancer," said Luke McGuinness, president and chief executive officer of Central DuPage Hospital. "We are committed to bringing the best that medicine has to offer to every patient in our region, and that is why we were determined to make proton therapy available to patients in Illinois."
Central DuPage Hospital has a history of leadership in bringing advanced technology to benefit the community including robotic surgery, intensity modulated radiation therapy and now, proton therapy.
The Proton Therapy Center of Central DuPage Hospital, a ProCure Center will be a four-treatment room facility, with the capacity to treat 1,500 patients per year. 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 construct the facility.
"We are thrilled to kick off the construction of this proton therapy center because it means more people will have access to proton therapy," said Hadley Ford, chief executive officer of ProCure Treatment Centers. "As satisfying as today is, the real reward is going to come when the doors open to treat patients in early 2011."
There are currently five proton therapy centers operating in the United States, providing about 6,000 treatment slots per year. Another two centers are scheduled to open in 2009, including the ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Oklahoma City. ProCure has two other centers under development in Michigan and Florida.
Experts conservatively estimate that every year, more than 10,000 Illinois cancer patients - and 250,000 nationwide - could benefit from proton therapy. Studies have shown proton therapy to be effective in treating brain, head and neck, pediatric, colorectal and prostate tumors as well as cancers that cannot be removed completely by surgery. Research is showing promising results in the treatment of some breast and lung tumors. Proton therapy can be particularly effective in treating children, who are more sensitive to the effects of radiation than adults.
Learn more about proton therapy and the Proton Therapy Center of Central DuPage Hospital at www.ProtonTherapyIllinois.com.
About Central DuPage Hospital
Central DuPage Hospital is a nationally recognized 313-bed facility located in Winfield, Ill., 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 for the second consecutive year 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.
About Procure Treatment Centers, Inc.
ProCure Treatment Centers, Inc., based in Bloomington, Ind., was founded in 2005. ProCure partners with leading radiation oncology practices and hospitals and provides management leadership and a comprehensive approach for the design, construction, financing, staffing, training and day-to-day operations of world-class proton therapy centers. ProCure's solution reduces the time, cost and effort necessary to create a facility. This allows physicians to continue focusing on patient care and increased access to patients who can benefit from this advanced cancer treatment. ProCure's Training and Development Center is the first facility in the world dedicated to proton therapy. For more information, visit www.ProCure.com.
About Radiation Oncology Consultants Limited
Radiation Oncology Consultants Limited (ROCL), with headquarters in Park Ridge, Ill., is the largest private practice radiation oncology physician group in Illinois.
The practice, composed of 13 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 and high dose rate brachytherapy (HDR), and, soon, proton therapy. For more information, visit www.chicagocancer.com.
About Proton Therapy
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 brain, breast, colorectal, head and neck, lung and prostate cancer 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 but its use was stalled by the inability of diagnostic imaging equipment to pinpoint tumor locations, which is necessary for proton treatment to be effective. 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 Proton Therapy Center in Oklahoma City, Okla.
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