Proton Therapy Center Draws National and International Patients
ORLANDO, Florida, July 24, 2019 – Central Florida’s only proton therapy center is reaching a major milestone this week.
Juan Campos, a resident of Kissimmee, Florida, will become the 500th patient to receive proton therapy treatment at the Marjorie and Leonard Williams Center for Proton Therapy at Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center.
The Center for Proton Therapy has enjoyed strong growth since opening its doors in April 2016, drawing a wide range of adult and pediatric patients throughout Florida, and from as far as the Middle East, Canada and Asia.
“We offer an innovative multi-disciplinary approach to cancer treatment that is an important factor in the growth of our proton therapy program,” says Naren Ramakrishna, M.D., Ph.D., director of proton therapy for Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center. “Patients are coming to us from near and far because of that philosophy and the unique benefits proton therapy has to offer.”
Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation therapy that uses proton beams rather than X-rays to treat selected tumors in adult and pediatric patients. It precisely targets tumors while reducing the dosage of radiation to adjacent organs, thereby potentially limiting side effects in all patients and decreasing the effects on growth in pediatric patients.
For Campos, the 500th patient, proton therapy was of critical importance in safely treating a brain tumor which had received two prior conventional radiation treatments over the past 12 years. The use of proton therapy will allow for effective treatment of the tumor while decreasing the long term risk of brain injury and preserving neurological function.
The Marjorie and Leonard Williams Center for Proton Therapy has treated a diverse group of patients with cancers of the brain, spine, prostate, breast, thorax and lungs, head and neck, as well as a large group of pediatric patients. Treatments have involved a wide range of clinical protocols and enrolled patients in a multi-institutional proton treatment registry.
In January 2018, the Center for Proton Therapy became the first facility to combine a compact proton therapy system with advanced mobile CT (computed tomography) imaging, which allows physicians to efficiently monitor a patient’s tumor response under treatment. The development furthered Orlando Health’s history as a pioneer in the use of state-of-the-art image-guided radiation therapy.
As the program moves forward, there is great excitement regarding future plans for growth. Clinical expansion is on the horizon and new technologies, like next-generation intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT), will further enhance benefits and open treatment options for an even broader range of cancer patients from Florida and beyond.
About Orlando Health
Orlando Health is a $3.8 billion not-for-profit healthcare organization and a community-based network of hospitals, physician practices and outpatient care centers across Central Florida. The organization is home to the area’s only Level One Trauma Centers for adults and pediatrics, and is a statutory teaching hospital system that offers both specialty and community hospitals. More than 3,100 physicians have privileges across the system, which is also one of the area’s largest employers with more than 20,200 employees who serve more than 97,000 inpatients, more than 2.5 million outpatients, and more than 4,800 international patients each year. Additionally, Orlando Health provides more than $360 million in total value to the community in the form of charity care, community benefit programs and services, community building activities and more. Additional information can be found at www.orlandohealth.com.