Unanimous Approval to Build Proton Center
Physicians Group, Hospital and Proton Therapy Experts Will
Bring Leading-Edge Cancer Treatment to Patients in 2011
CHICAGO, September 17, 2008 — Thousands of cancer patients in need of proton therapy-a form of radiation therapy without many of the short- and long-term side effects- can look forward to having a treatment center available in Illinois with the 4-0 approval today by the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board (IHFPB) of the Proton Therapy Center of Central DuPage Hospital. Construction on the 58,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art proton therapy treatment center in Warrenville's Cantera development will begin immediately according to the center's joint venture partners, Central DuPage Hospital (CDH), Radiation Oncology Consultations, Ltd. (ROCL) - Chicago's largest radiation oncology group - and ProCure Treatment Centers, Inc., Bloomington, Ind. The center is expected to begin treating patients in 2011.
"This is a great and promising day for cancer patients in Illinois and throughout the Midwest," said William Hartsell, M.D., president of ROCL. "Our practice has spent more than five years trying to bring protons to Illinois so we don't have to send our patients out of state, waiting for the few treatment slots that are available. When this facility opens, it will provide access to proton treatment for many patients in Illinois."
Experts conservatively estimate that every year, more than 10,000 Illinois cancer patients-and 250,000 nationwide-are candidates for 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.
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, Okla.
The Proton Therapy Center of Central DuPage Hospital 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 be used to construct the facility. The project is being 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.
"The demand for proton therapy has grown tremendously as new research has shown its effectiveness. The board's decision is an important step forward in providing more patients with this advanced treatment," said Luke McGuinness, president and chief executive officer of Central DuPage Hospital. "We are thrilled with the board's decision and look forward to establishing DuPage County as a nationally renowned center of excellence for cancer treatment."
"Patients have been treated with proton therapy for more than 40 years in the United States and have experienced remarkable results," said Hadley Ford, chief executive officer of ProCure Treatment Centers. "Being able to help physicians and hospitals bring this therapy to their patients is tremendously rewarding."
ProCure is partnering with radiation oncology practices and hospitals to open proton therapy centers. ProCure's first proton therapy center is under construction in Oklahoma City and is scheduled to open in 2009. In addition to Illinois, ProCure has other centers under development in Michigan and Florida.
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 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.
Media Contact at CDH:
Amy Jo Steinbruecker