Recent Proton Therapy Industry Happenings (May, 05)
- Loma Linda University Medical Center in southern, CA, the world's first hospital-based proton treatment facility, treated its 10,000th patient. Loma Linda also observes its 15th anniversary in the fall of 2005.
- The $110 million Florida Proton Therapy Institute at the University of Florida 's Shands Jacksonville campus expects to open in July 2006, initially treating about 1,100 patients by the end of 2007 and about 2,200 when fully operational in mid-2008.
- A recent USA Today article "Survival Isn't Child's Play" focused on the serious side effects and possible complications of childhood cancer. However, the article notes that "targeted therapies," such as proton beam radiation treatment which home in on cancer without harming healthy cells, can help prevent damage. The article goes on to quote Bartletter Moore, chief of behavioral pediatrics at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, who says ".scientists are using smaller, more frequent doses of radiation, which injure fewer healthy cells, but provide a higher dose by the end of the therapy. An example is proton therapy, a new type of radiotherapy that targets tumors more accurately." M.D. Anderson's proton center in Houston will start treating patients early in 2006.
- A recent conference of more than a thousand specialists, from surgeons to radiologists to dieticians met in Orlando to discuss prostate cancer. The bottom line: diets may play a key role and obesity affects the odds of dying from the disease more than the odds of getting it. Use of the PSA blood test is being refined and improved. Treatment options are improving. New techniques are minimizing surgery's side effects, and newer ways of giving radiation, such as proton beam radiation, are allowing higher doses and better control of the disease.
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