100th Patient Treated at Provision Center for Proton Therapy
Tennessee’s Only Proton Center Has Treated Patients From 11 States, Mexico & Brazil
Knoxville, Tenn. (August 7, 2014) – – The Provision Center for Proton Therapy, Tennessee’s first and only proton therapy treatment facility, celebrated the treatment of its 100th patient today. Located in Knoxville on the Dowell Springs medical campus, the first patient was treated back in January with this revolutionary and accurate cancer treatment available at only in a handful of cities in the U.S.
Mr. Marshall Munro from Kingsport, Tennessee, completed his treatments today and gained the designation of patient number 100. Munro completed 40 treatments for prostate cancer.
Proton therapy, the most advanced form of radiotherapy in the world, uses a single beam of high-energy protons to treat various forms of cancer, such as prostate, pediatric, sarcoma, brain, lung, and breast cancers. Different from conventional radiation therapy — in which beam energy dissipates as it passes through the body — proton beams can be fine-tuned with millimeters of accuracy to deliver maximum energy within the controlled range of the cancerous tumor. To date, Provision has treated 100 patients from 11 states, Mexico and Brazil, and 9 different types of cancers.
Treatment plans range from 20 – 40 treatments depending on the stage of cancer. Low to intermediate risk patients receive 20 treatments over a four-week period. This schedule will result in fewer side effects and will cost less than conventional radiation.
Provision Center for Proton Therapy currently has two treatment rooms open, including one of two gantry treatment rooms. The gantry rotates 360 degrees around the patient enabling the treatment of a variety of more complex cancers such as brain, lung, breast, head and neck, esophageal, and pediatric cancers. This room has a precise form of treatment: Pencil Beam Scanning (PBS). Pencil beam scanning uses a beam that is much smaller than those used in more common proton treatments and allows us to “paint” the tumor with protons. It can, therefore, be used to treat difficult tumors at higher doses and with fewer side effects to surrounding healthy tissue. There are currently less than 10 centers in the United States that have access to this incredible technology.
Provision’s third treatment room is scheduled to open in early fall. Once the third treatment room opens the Provision Center for Proton Therapy will have the ability to provide life-saving cancer treatment to as many as 90+ patients per day.
“The treatment of our 100th patient is an exciting achievement,” said Mary Lou DuBois, President of Provision Center for Proton Therapy. “We are blessed and honored to provide our community and this region with the most compassionate and effective cancer treatment available today. ”
The center opened less than two years after breaking ground in April 2012. A 220-ton cyclotron, a particle accelerator that produces protons, was installed a year ago in January 2013 at the center, which sits on the 120-acre comprehensive outpatient medical campus at Dowell Springs in Knoxville. The pastoral campus provides a resort setting with paved walking trails, waterfalls, beautiful landscape that reflects the area’s natural beauty and benches to rest, visit, read, reflect or just observe nature. With out-of-town patients from other states and countries traveling to Knoxville for treatments at Provision Center for Proton Therapy, the economic impact to the Knoxville community is significant.