News and Blog

RadCare Website Launches



Not unlike its companion website,, was created to help cancer patients and their families better understand their care by explaining highly technical medical information in simple terms.

When Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton was traversing his cancer journey it was difficult for him to understand all of the highly technical medical information about his care and there was no one source to help him understand his diagnosis and treatment. Once his treatment was complete he had a vision of creating a single online resource for cancer patients and their families to better understand their disease and care. This resulted in the creation of, as part of the Scott CARES program to help patients better understand chemotherapy. And now, is a companion website to help patients better understand the many different aspects of radiation therapy and proton therapy.

The new website was designed as an in-depth resource for information on the many different types of radiation therapy, what to expect during treatment, and details on the latest technologies, such as proton therapy.

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Holiday Open House at Provision Center for Proton Therapy


Santa Logo Man



A Family Christmas at Dowell Springs
December 4 at 6 p.m. (FREE)
Provision Center for Proton Therapy
6450 Provision Cares Way
Knoxville, TN  37909

The Provision Center for Proton Therapy invites you and your family to a very special holiday open house at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, December 4.  Enjoy a wonderful family Christmas experience on the beautiful Dowell Springs campus, located just off Middlebrook Pike in Knoxville.  Nestled in a cozy fireplace setting, decorated for the holidays with seasonal refreshments and spirit-filled performances by the Concord Christian School Elementary & Middle Ensembles and Halls High School Madrigals.  Surprise celebrity guests will highlight the evening, including Sevier County artist Robert Tino who will unveil a one-of-a-kind painting that was commissioned just for the proton center.  Bring your camera for family photos with Santa and go on a tour of the facility to view the most technologically advanced cancer treatment equipment in the world.  For more information call 865-684-2616.


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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.

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East Tennessee Military Veterans Tour Provision Center for Proton Therapy


Veterans Tour Pic 2

The East Tennessee Military Veterans and Spouses recently toured the Provision Center for Proton Therapy.  On behalf of everyone at Provision, we send our sincerest thanks to men and women everywhere who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms.  To those who have served and continue to serve, to those who have lost their lives for our country, we can’t ever say thank you enough.

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What Does Proton Therapy Cost?



The cost for proton therapy varies depending upon the treating facility, the payer, and the prescribed course of treatment.  Payers can be divided into two categories:  government payers and non-government payers.

Government Payers

The largest government payer is Medicare. About half of patients at a typical proton center will have Medicare or some type of Medicare product.  Proton centers can fall under one of two categories with Medicare: hospital based or free standing.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a government agency, releases a national fee schedule each year that applies to all hospital based proton centers.  In 2013 Medicare is paying about $1,110 per day of treatment for most treatments at these facilities.

For free standing proton centers the local Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) sets the payment fee schedule. Each state has a MAC that administers coverage and payment on behalf of CMS.  These rates vary depending upon MAC and location. The MACs use Geographic Cost Pricing Index (GPCI) adjustments to help determine appropriate payment levels.  The easiest way to think about this is that it is a cost of doing business adjustment.  So a center in New Jersey would likely get paid more by their Medicare MAC than a center in Tennessee.  Other government payers include TriCare, Medicaid, and the VA.

Non-Government Payers

This category includes commercial insurance companies as well as patients paying cash out of pocket.  There are hundreds of commercial insurance companies all over the country.  The largest insurance companies, in order, are Unitedhealth Group, Wellpoint, Kaiser Foundation Group, Aetna, and Humana.  The largest insurance network is Blue Cross and Blue Shield.  Each of these payers will make an individual determination on what types of cancer they will pay to have treated with proton therapy.  They will also negotiate rates with individual centers for these treatments.

Commercial insurance companies will pay based on one of four methods:

  1. “case rate” – this is a flat rate for treatment of a disease site regardless of how many daily treatments are delivered
  2. “percent of charges” – this is a percentage of the charges billed out by the proton center
  3. “percent of Medicare” – this is a percentage of the Medicare fee schedule
  4. “fee schedule” – this is a schedule assigning a payment rate for each type of service


So all of this is to say that there really is no one answer to the question “how much is proton therapy?”  It is sometimes more expensive than conventional radiation therapy, but there are times when it is equal to or less than conventional radiation therapy.  It is our goal at Provision to continue to work to bring down the costs of treatment and to expand the types of disease sites that are covered by insurance companies.

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How Does Proton Therapy Differ From Traditional Radiation Therapy?


Unlike proton therapy, conventional radiation therapy uses x-rays which enter and exits the body, potentially causing damage to the healthy tissue that surrounds the tumor being treated. However, at the Provision Center for Proton Therapy, our pencil beam scanning capabilities allow our oncologists to target treatment to a specific area, giving a high-energy dose of protons that enter the tumor with accuracy and stop in their tracks, limiting collateral damage to healthy tissues. As a result, the important organs and tissues surrounding the cancer are better protected from unnecessary radiation, thus minimizing or completely avoiding treatment induced side effects, such as nerve damage with resulting neurologic disfunction, as well as avoiding other complications such as breathing difficulties, nausea, impotence, secondary cancers and others.

Both standard X-rays/conventional radiation therapy and proton therapy attack tumors by preventing cancer cells from dividing and growing. The difference between the two therapies is that protons can precisely target the tumor, allowing patients to receive higher, more effective doses, and reducing damage to healthy tissue near the tumor. The chart below shows how protons eliminate radiation to the brain stem and X-rays do not.

Although it is similar to conventional radiation therapy, protons are more precise, the proton beam is fine-tuned with millimeters of accuracy to deliver maximum energy within a controlled range of the tumor. Proton treatment can also be combined with radiation, chemotherapy and biological treatments, depending on the cancer type to provide better outcomes and less tissue damage. Also, Proton treament greatly improves pediatric outcomes.

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What Types of Cancer Does Proton Therapy Treat?



Proton therapy is used for various types of cancers including prostate cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, brain tumors even pediatric patients and breast cancer.  Most commonly used in prostate and lung cancer in men.

Proton Therapy is able to treat the following cancers more precisely then ever before.

  • Bone Cancer
  • Brain Cancer
  • Eye Cancer
  • Head and Neck Cancer
  • Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Lung Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Pediatric Cancer
    • Brain Tumors
    • Pediatric Sarcoma
    • Retinoblastoma
    • Neuroblastoma
    • Lymphomas
    • Other Rare Tumors
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Sarcoma

To learn more visit about proton therapy. 


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What is Proton Therapy?


Learning about a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming but there is a new form of cancer treatment being offered right here in East Tennessee. It is fast becoming one of the top cancer treatment options available, it is called proton therapy. Joining us today is Dr. Marcio Fagundes from Provison Center for Proton Therapy. You are actually a radiation oncologist, you have seen this work first hand, please explain this process.

Proton Therapy is type of radiation therapy were protons are aimed at the tumor and we can actually make this form of radiation stop at the tumor and not radiate beyond the tumor. So that more dose of  radiation can be administered to the tumor site, with less surrounding side affects.

So with proton therapy you are able to be more specific in the areas that you are actually treating the cancer?

Yes, protons are physically superior to X-rays because we can actually stop the radiation where we want, so we can spare the heart for instance when we are treating lung cancer or other tumors in the chest and not cause side effects or damage. Which is fantastic for the patient!

For more information visit about proton therapy.

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ProNova Moves forward: Phase 1


ProNova moves forward: Phase 1 of cancer therapy development company approved

The Daily Times

By Iva Butler |

Phase 1 of ProNova Solutions LLC in Pellissippi Place has received preliminary and final approval from Alcoa Planning Commission. Also approved was the concept plan for Phase 2 of ProNova, a cancer proton therapy research and development company.

Click here for full story.  

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