Georges Noël’s interest in proton therapy hearkens back to the time when he met Provision Chief Medical Physicist Niek Schreuder in 1997 at a conference in Paris.
Georges, a radiation oncologist and widely published author, wrote a paper in 2005 declaring, “proton is the future.”
“That is not a new idea for me,” said Noël, director of the radiobiological lab at Centre Paul Strauss, a cancer treatment and research facility, in Strasbourg, France. Last year, he took a sabbatical from his position, to research proton therapy with plans to set up a center there.
He came to the U.S. to research protons, starting with a six month stint in Boston. He then decided to expand his experiences to other centers, taking jaunts to Jacksonville, Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, Shreveport and San Diego. He spent the last two months of his year-long tour observing and writing his report at Provision Center for Proton Therapy.
He already was familiar with Provision. In addition to his long-time relationship with Schreuder, journal articles by Medical Director Dr. Marcio Fagundes were regular reference points. He also came to learn about ProNova Solutions and the new proton therapy machines being developed here.
“I came to compare machines from different companies and show in my report what is the best one,” he says.
After his time here, Noël says he is absolutely sold on the ProNova product.
“It’s a device to treat patients and to treat patients better,” he said. “I think ProNova is at least five years ahead of the competition. I think this company is the future of protons.”
Noël said he appreciated the close collaboration among clinicians and ProNova development staff as well as the attention paid to the comfort of both the patients and the technicians in the proton therapy equipment’s design.
And, at Provision and ProNova, everyone has the same goal, he said.
“To think that what the physician wants, the physicist wants, what the technician wants is for proton therapy to work better,” he said.
That mindset makes ProNova machines attractive for an institution that is focused on innovation as well as treatment. Noël said he believes the equipment will be most compatible with whatever research track he might want to take, whether testing better treatments, developing databases or coming up with a dose calculation system. ProNova’s entrepreneurial approach to making a new and better machine makes it ideal for making advancements in the field of proton therapy.
“To create a company from nothing,” he said, “that’s always marvelous to me.”