The land’s been scraped bare, the brick and mortar will come soon. By the start of 2025, Southwest Florida will have its first proton therapy center to fight cancer.
Dr. Ari Dosoretz is the force behind Southwest Florida Proton. He started planning the project three years ago.
Ali Onuralp, vice president of sales in North America for IBA, the Belgium-based company that sells the proton machines, said he was at the gym when received an unsolicited call from Dosoretz.
“He had existing knowledge,” Onuralp said. “He always had this vision.”
IBA ended up with the contract to build, install and maintain the proton therapy machine known as Proteus 1.
The 35,000-square-foot building will sit on the northwest corner of Three Oaks and Estero parkways in south Lee County. It will cost more than $70 million and be the only proton center between Tampa and Miami.
“It’s the most advanced form of radiation therapy,” Onuralp said.
Proton therapy can be used near sensitive and hard-to-reach areas such as the spine, brain, throat and left-sided breast cancers, Dosoretz said.