News | March 10, 2011

Illinois Proton Treatment Center Expands Capacity

March 10, 2011 – The CDH Proton Center in suburban Chicago can now treat a wider variety of cancer tumors with the opening of a new treatment room. The room features a gantry, a nearly 100-ton rotating steel wheel that allows the proton beam to be directed at the tumor from any angle.

Opening the gantry room lets the center treat a wider variety of patients with proton therapy, an alternative to standard X-ray radiation for cancer. Proton therapy spares healthy tissue and results in far fewer short- and long-term treatment side effects.

“The opening of this, our third treatment room, is great news for patients who could benefit from proton therapy,” said William Hartsell, M.D., medical director of the CDH Proton Center. “The gantry in particular allows us to treat more clinically challenging tumors because the proton beam can be very precisely rotated 360 degrees around the patient.”

The center, which opened in October 2010, has four treatment rooms and will be able to treat up to 1,500 patients per year when all four are open. It plans to start operating a second shift to accommodate more patients in the rooms already open before commissioning the fourth and final room.

“The opening of the gantry room brings us one step closer to helping as many patients with cancer as possible in Illinois and the surrounding region,” said James R. Williams, president of the CDH Proton Center. “With an estimated 11,000 Illinois residents this year alone who stand to benefit from proton therapy, the need for this advanced treatment is great.”

Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation treatment and an important alternative to standard X-ray radiation for many patients with cancer and for some noncancerous tumors. It has been shown to be beneficial in treating a broad range of tumor types, including brain, central nervous system, gastrointestinal, head and neck, lung and prostate, as well as sarcomas and many pediatric cancers. The precision of proton therapy makes it especially effective for treating children and adults with anatomically complex tumors.

It is the second in a network of centers developed and operated by ProCure Treatment Centers. The 60,000-square-foot proton center is just the ninth center of its kind in the country.

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