May 5, 2015 — Ackerman Cancer Center in Jacksonville, Florida, treated its first four proton therapy patients at the end of April, becoming the first private, physician-owned practice to offer this advanced form of radiation therapy. Within the first week of operation with the new system — a Mevion S250 — eight patients began proton therapy, with cancers affecting the parotid (salivary gland), prostate, tongue and base of the skull.
Before the introduction of the Mevion S250, proton therapy systems were the size of a football field and cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build and operate, thus limiting patient access. Mevion’s proton therapy system is installed into a single room with a footprint similar to a conventional radiation therapy unit, allowing it to be integrated with any size cancer facility. In addition, the Mevion system features greatly decreased capital and operating costs and is more environmentally friendly – using as much as 90 percent less energy than traditional systems.
Proton therapy targets cancer cells more precisely than traditional photon radiation treatment and results in less damage to surrounding healthy tissue and organs. Because of these attributes, it is ideal for treating pediatric patients and adult patients with cancers in sensitive locations, such as near the brain, spine, heart and lungs.
“We are a full-service cancer center, offering a complement of treatment options – allowing us to choose the modality that is most appropriate for each patient,” said Scot Ackerman, M.D., radiation oncologist and medical director of Ackerman Cancer Center. “Proton therapy is an important radiation oncology treatment and one that our patients deserve to be able to access as we help them fight their cancers.”
Ackerman Cancer Center’s system is the second clinically operational Mevion S250, with the other located at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. One-year clinical results indicate it took less than 11 months to complete treatment of its first 100 patients – the fastest per room ramp-up of any proton therapy system. Additionally, the system demonstrated efficient treatment time identical to X-ray therapy, the ability to treat a diverse and complex array of cancers and operational uptime reaching 97 percent.
For more information: www.mevion.com