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NIU Seeks OK for New Proton Cancer Treatment and Research Center
Date:2/25/2008

the human condition across the globe. Ours will be far more than a community proton center to treat cancer. We envision the NIU facility as a regional and even national resource complimented through NIU's work with Fermilab and Argonne National Laboratories, both world leaders in accelerator physics, neutron and proton therapies."

Under the expected collaborative agreement between NIU and Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation, physicians who are full-time faculty members or researchers at the Feinberg School of Medicine and are on the attending physician staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital will deliver clinical and related services at the new state-of-the-art cancer treatment center. Officials expect the agreement to be finalized within three months.

The Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board staff report issued earlier this month found the NIU application for a certificate of exemption (COE) complete and in full compliance with requirements.

"We have done all that has been asked of us and much more. We are ready and eager to begin our new endeavor and we look forward to fulfilling our mission of outreach and service to all the people of Illinois," said John Lewis, project director and associate vice president at NIU.

Currently there are only five proton therapy centers in the country. Patients often travel hundreds or thousands of miles to receive this form of specialized cancer treatment. Proton therapy is an advanced and highly effective form of radiation treatment utilizing proton beams created at extremely high speeds using a particle accelerator that is housed in a structure the size of a football field. It is non-invasive, extremely precise and painless. Unlike conventional radiation therapy, proton beam treatments destroy only the tumor leaving good tissues unaffected. It has been proven to be especially effective in treating prostate and head and neck cancers as well as pediatric cancer, where preservation of organs, sys
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SOURCE Northern Illinois University
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