Building Awareness about Proton Therapy for Prostate Cancer


When the Provision Center for Proton Therapy set out to make the East Tennessee community aware of the newest treatment for prostate cancer, we had a challenge.  The marketing team knew that most people had no idea what proton therapy was or how it was used.  We also knew that we needed to get their attention.

We put our heads together and started working on some concepts that would break through the standard medical advertising.  During one of these brainstorming sessions we thought back to a speaker at a Washington D.C. conference.  The speaker was Robert J. Marckini, a former proton therapy patient for prostate cancer.  Bob is the author of “You Can Beat Prostate Cancer – And You Don’t Need Surgery To Do It.”  During his speech, he made a statement that one of the most important reasons he chose proton therapy, was that “proton therapy was the only cancer treatment with a fan club.”  This statement became the inspiration for the awareness campaign.

From this idea, we decided to meet with some former proton therapy patients and get their thoughts.  They not only loved the idea, but most of them wanted to be part of the making of the TV commercial.  We thought a concept of football fans would be a great way to introduce the campaign to the public.  But we needed to make this message stand out.  Then we hit on the idea of painting the guy’s chests with the letters P.R.O.T.O.N.S.  This seemed to tell the story in a short and impactful way.  These were true fans.  To our surprise, the former prostate patients were excited about the concept and could not wait to get the commercial started.

On a very hot summer Saturday, we gathered our Proton Guys and a group of volunteers and produced what you see today as the commercial.  It was a very long day for most of us, but it was grueling for the Proton Guys.  They stuck in there and we actually finished the shoot early.  It was a tremendously fun day for a very good cause.  Not only are we happy with the result, we are thrilled these men had the opportunity to tell their story to the many men suffering with prostate cancer.  The message is clear, proton therapy is a great treatment option for men with prostate cancer and getting a second opinion is important to you and your life after treatment.