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2008: Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board Defers Protons
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Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board Defers Protons

Partners Will Continue to Pursue Building Leading-Edge Cancer Treatment Center

CHICAGO - August 12, 2008 - The Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board (IHFPB) today deferred consideration of Central DuPage Hospital (CDH) and ProCure Treatment Centers' Certificate of Need application to build a proton therapy treatment center in Warrenville, in order to more carefully review material submitted by the applicants to the board in response to the recently issued Supplementary State Agency Report. The CON application to build the proton treatment center is expected to be on the board's September agenda. 

Representatives from CDH, Radiation Oncology Consultations, Ltd. (ROCL) and ProCure said they are discouraged, but undeterred in their mission to develop a proton therapy center.

Jim Spear, executive vice president and chief financial officer of CDH said, "This is an unfortunate delay and we have every intention of continuing to prove our case so the board approves this center. We're certainly disappointed, however, we appreciate that the board is taking the time to thoroughly consider the additional information pertaining to our project."

"For every month of delay, 125 patients lose out on the opportunity to be treated with proton therapy. More centers mean more patients have access to proton therapy, and that is what we believe the focus should be," said William Hartsell, M.D., president of ROCL. The proposed Proton Therapy Center of Central DuPage Hospital is a joint venture involving CDH, ProCure and ROCL - Chicago's largest radiation oncology physician group.

Hadley Ford, chief executive officer of ProCure Treatment Centers added, "There is no question that the need for proton therapy in Illinois and across the country far surpasses the capacity right now and that multiple centers should be built."

Experts conservatively estimate that every year, more than 10,000 Illinois cancer patients-and 250,000 nationwide- would be candidates for proton therapy. Studies have shown proton therapy to be effective in treating brain, breast, colorectal, head and neck, lung and prostate cancer, among others. Proton therapy can be particularly effective in treating children, who are more sensitive to the effects of radiation than adults. There are currently several proton therapy centers under construction-including one in Illinois-but only five centers operating in the United States, providing a maximum of 6,000 treatment slots per year.

The Proton Therapy Center of Central DuPage Hospital is proposed as a four-treatment room, 58,000-square-foot facility. It has been funded entirely through private sources, and would use equipment 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 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 recently 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.

ProCure Treatment Centers, Inc., based in Bloomington, Ind., was founded in 2005. ProCure provides management leadership and a comprehensive approach for the design, construction, staffing, training and day-to-day operations of world-class proton therapy centers. ProCure partners with leading radiation oncologists and hospitals in communities where there is a need. ProCure's solution reduces the time, cost and effort necessary to create a facility. This allows physicians to continue focusing on patient care and patients who can benefit from this advanced treatment to have increased access.

For more information, visit www.ProCure.com.


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, 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 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 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.