University Hospitals Opens the Region’s First Proton Therapy Center

University Hospitals Opens the Region’s First Proton Therapy Center


In the field of radiation oncology, we have
all different types of what we call modalities. Basically, they’re ways of delivering radiation
dose to the tumor and that ranges from standard external beam radiation therapy, which often
includes intensity modulated radiation therapy. We have stereotactic delivery with Gamma knife
radiosurgery or Cyber knife radiosurgery or even linear accelerator based radiosurgery.
Those are all photon based treatments. So, proton therapy offers an advantage, a specific
advantage, in treating radiation therapy patients. Unlike x-ray beams that penetrate through
the patient, a proton beam penetrates to a depth that’s proportional to its energy and
then it stops. So, that allows the elimination of a lot of the exit dose on the other side
of the tumor. So, it’s a way of decreasing the lower and intermediate doses to the patient
while still maintaining the dose to the tumor. I like to tell all my patients that nerves
don’t grow back the same way that skin does if you get a cut on your finger. So those
special types of brain tissue, like the brain stem, are things that we want to protect as
much as we can the first time around because we know that once those nerves get injured,
we’re not always able to get that function back. So, what proton therapy is able to do
is target a very small area in a way that we don’t hurt the surrounding tissue that
we’re trying to preserve. The patients that stand to benefit the most
from that are pediatric patients or young adult patients. Often they have curative cancers
and they’re going to have 70 or 80 years of expected life ahead of them. One of the unique
things about this center is we’ve been able to incorporate it 100 feet from Rainbow Babies
and Children’s Hospital. It’s one of the only places in the world where we’ve achieved this
kind of proximity and that stands to benefit the pediatric and AYA population that Rainbow’s
already nationally and internationally known for treating. The fact that we have it here in everyone’s
backyard will allow them to get the treatment here and to stay at home and to be with their
support system and be with their other family members that they need so much during this
really trying time. The radiation oncology department at Seidman
Cancer Center has state-of-the-art capability. Proton therapy was one of the only modalities
that we were lacking. And now we have it.

2 Replies to “University Hospitals Opens the Region’s First Proton Therapy Center”

  1. Hi I am taking chemotherapy at the portage county university hospital.I started with a finding of colorectal cancer stage 4 and had chemo therapy and then surgerys to remove cancered areas..my cancer is metatastic(spelling) and I am now taking chemo for spots on my liver.I am wondering if immunotherapy would be good in my situation.I am 57 and seem to be able to handle what`s been given to me so far…since  march 2015 treatments started.My oncology Dr.Frederick Marquinez is a very good and helpful individual.I would like to know if these treatments are good in my case…maybe I could live longer..James Vargo.Thank you very much

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