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University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center Announces $30 Million Proton Therapy Center
Date:5/17/2011

iotherapy," says Mitch Machtay, MD, Chairman of Radiation Oncology at UH Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. "Protons are the ultimate means of reaching certain tumors and protecting critical vital organs that are located right behind or adjacent to those tumors. This will be a great complement to our existing state-of-the-art radiation oncology equipment and personnel at Seidman, and more importantly, the lives of many people with cancer and their families will be ultimately enhanced by this investment."

"Over the next decade, proton therapy is likely to become an increasingly important modality for the delivery of radiation therapy to children, who have highly sensitive bones, internal organs, and other tissues," adds John Letterio, MD, chief of Pediatric Oncology at UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital and Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.  "The smallest of our patients will see some of the biggest benefits."

Protons enter the body with a low radiation dose and deposit the bulk of their cancer-fighting energy right at the tumor. The proton beam then effectively stops at the 'back edge' of the tumor, matching the tumor's shape, volume and depth. Once this energy has been deposited at the tumor site, there is little additional radiation exposure or damage to the healthy tissue surrounding the tumor. This can allow a higher dose of radiation to be delivered directly to the cancerous cells while sparing healthy tissues and critical areas of the body near the tumor, potentially resulting in more reliable control of the tumor with fewer treatment complications. Clinical research trials studying the best means of using protons to achieve these goals are in development, and Drs. Gerson, Levitan,  Machtay and Letterio emphasize that UH will be among the leaders in clinical research studies of proton beam radiotherapy.

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SOURCE University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center
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