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Former Olympian Scott Hamilton joins proton therapy board

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Former figure skater and Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton has joined the Provision Center for Proton Therapy board of directors. A cancer and brain tumor survivor who lives in Nashville with his family, Hamilton has been advocate for cancer research and treatment. He is a spokesperson for the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute and the founder of the Scott Hamilton CARES Initiative, which, along with his 4th Angel Mentoring Program, will be implemented in Knoxville. “This was a natural fit for us. We’re really excited about having someone who’s going to impact what we’re doing here,” said Terry Douglass, chairman of the Provision Center for Proton Therapy board. “He brings a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of commitment to education and research. He really wants to help, and I believe that the way he lives his life is similar to our core values as an organization.”

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Provision Center for Proton Therapy Names Medical Director

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Provision Center for Proton Therapy Names Medical Director

The Provision Center for Proton Therapy announced today it has named Marcio Fagundes, M.D., as medical director. A board-­‐certified radiation oncologist, he comes to Knoxville from the ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Oklahoma City where he has practiced proton therapy and conducted significant research. He will start his new role on July 15.

“The addition of Dr. Fagundes as medical director is another important step in building our team of proton therapy experts,” said Mary Lou DuBois, President of Provision Center for Proton Therapy. “He is an extremely knowledgeable and experienced radiation oncologist and will be an invaluable asset to the proton center and its patients.”

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Prone Position for Radiation Therapy

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After Ivy Berry’s last radiation treatment for breast cancer, she rang a victory bell three times. It’s a tradition for patients wrapping up their therapy at Knoxville’s Provision Radiation Therapy in Dowell Springs.

She is now cancer free. But a year ago, the 44-year-old Knoxville woman found out she had breast cancer after her first mammogram.

“They told me I needed to go ahead and have a lumpectomy right away,” said Berry. She had the surgery along with radiation therapy.

Provision Radiation Therapy Medical Director Dr. Allen Meek says that’s the gold standard when it comes to treatment.

But Meek adds, what isn’t standard at Provision Radiation is how the radiation is delivered.

Typically, patients are on placed on their back, in a supine position when the radiation beam targets the affected area. At Provision Radiation, Berry was placed in a prone position, on her stomach.

The breast is able to fall through an open area on a special table.

“With gravity, the breast pulls forward. Then you are able to bring the radiation beam in,” said Meeks.

Berry admits it’s not the most comfortable position but it is the preferred position for both her and her doctor.

Dr. Meeks’ concern with delivering radiation to a patient while on their back is the harmful exposure to areas of the body in addition to the breast.

“The main long term consequences we are concerned about are radiation to the heart and lungs,” said Meek.

When radiation is delivered in a prone position the heart and lungs are spared from exposure and any future potential medical problems.

Meek said, “One of the big concerns is that 15 to 20 years down the road, a patient can develop lung cancer from radiation to the lung.”

For Ivy Berry, radiation treatment in a prone position was the only way to go. She beat cancer this time and ringing the “ceremonial bell” at Provision Radiation Therapy once is more than enough.

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ProNova Solutions announces $52 million investment, 500 jobs in Blount

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Medical sciences company Pronova Solutions is coming to Blount County, and it’s bringing 500 jobs and $52 million in capital investment, officials said this morning.

Officials with the Blount Partnership, Knox County, Innovation Valley, Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty along with officials from ProNova Solutions, this morning announced the company has agreed to become the anchor tenant at the Pellissippi Place technology research and development park. The park is on the Oak Ridge Corridor located at the end of the Pellissippi Parkway in Alcoa. ProNova, which intends to commercialize a next-generation, compact proton therapy system as part of the latest in cancer treatment technology, is slated to construct two facilities on 26 acres on the West side of the property to house its corporate headquarters along with a research and commercialization laboratory, according to a Blount Partnership news release. Its product strategy is to develop, produce and deliver a smaller, lighter and more energy efficient proton therapy system, officials said.

Read Knox News Sentinel full story here.

Read WVLT full story here.

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ProNova to Locate at Pellissippi Place

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ProNova Solutions becomes Pellissippi Place’s first tenant

The Daily Times

By Robert Norris | bobn@thedailytimes.com

Pellissippi Place is about to put high-paying jobs in Blount County with a high-tech business that will serve the region and beyond.

State and local officials announced this morning at the Blount County Chamber of Commerce that ProNova — a new company that is pioneering development of a lower-cost cancer treatment system — will locate its manufacturing facility in the research and development center at Pellissippi Parkway and Old Knoxville Highway in Alcoa.

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The University of Tennessee is interested in Proton Therapy

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The University of Tennessee has expressed interest in becoming a potential research and academic partner in a new proton therapy center currently under construction in Dowell Springs. Legislation sought by UT and sponsored by Sen. Doug Overbey and Rep. Ryan Haynes would allow the university to pursue the development and funding of related programs and facilities by becoming the guarantor of up to $98 million of the project’s costs. UT’s participation would allow the project to directly benefit from lower interest rates, and those savings could be reinvested by the university. The project is being financed with $110 million tax-exempt bonds issued by the Knox County Industrial Development Board in November and funded by a consortium of financial institutions led by Fifth Third Bank. Details of the legislation are still being worked out with different stakeholders, but Haynes said it has the potential to be a tremendous resource for UT. “It’s a very creative and innovative way to help UT and our region become a leader in radiological services,” he said. “The method we’re using is unique.” Read the full article here.

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Cyclotron logistics: 8,000-mile journey from Belgium to Knoxville

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After a four-week transoceanic voyage, a 220-ton cyclotron that will be used for cancer treatment had completed its 8,000-mile trek from Belgium to East Tennessee on Dec. 25. The cyclotron, which weighs as much as the Statue of Liberty, is a key piece of equipment used in proton therapy, which will be offered at its home in a dedicated center currently under construction in West Knoxville and affiliated with Provision Health Alliance. The arrival of the cyclotron marked a milestone for the $119 million project, which is expected to begin treating prostate cancer patients in 2014. It’s taken nearly a year of logistical planning to ensure it gets safely to its final destination in Dowell Springs.

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220-ton cyclotron transported to Dowell Springs

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The second half of a 220-ton cyclotron will make the 14-mile journey from Forks of the River Industrial Park in East Knoxville to Dowell Springs on Middlebrook Pike on Friday.

The medical equipment’s arrival to its final destination, a $119 million proton therapy center currently under construction, will culminate a several-week long trek from Belgium, where it was shipped by cargo boat to Knoxville. The first half was delivered Thursday. Read more here.

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Provision Center for Proton Therapy and ProNova listed as a top local business for 2012

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Proton planning: Could Knoxville become a global center for proton therapy? Local businessman Terry Douglass, who co-founded CTI Molecular Imaging, is optimistic that it can. His health care company, Provision Health Alliance, was hard at work this year on development of a $119 million proton therapy cancer center that is taking shape at Dowell Springs Business Park off Middlebrook Pike. Read more here.

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Land deal approved for ProNova Solutions manufacturing facility

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A start-up manufacturing firm could get a big discount on land in exchange for investing at least $17 million and creating more than 100 high-paying jobs in West Knox County.

The Development Corporation of Knox County on Thursday approved a proposed sale of land at the Pellissippi Corporate Center to ProNova Solutions, a local firm that is gearing up to manufacture cutting-edge therapy machines used to treat cancer. Under the proposed deal, ProNova would pay $95,000 for a 9.5-acre site that has an appraised value of $950,000. Within three years of buying the property, the company would be required to invest at least $17 million in land, buildings and equipment and to create at least 135 full-time jobs with average annual pay of at least $75,000. Read full article here.

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