News | March 20, 2012

New Jersey, Metro New York’s First Proton Therapy Center Opens

March 20, 2012 – Underscoring a united commitment to advancing patient care for the treatment of cancer, ProCure Treatment Centers Inc. along with CentraState Healthcare System and Princeton Radiation Oncology announced the official opening of the ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Somerset, N.J. The center is the third to open in a national network of proton centers being developed by ProCure. It is one of only 10 centers that offer proton therapy nationwide.

To mark the critical milestone, members of the local community will gather for a ribbon-cutting ceremony, presentation and tour of the cutting-edge center that features the engine of the center, its cyclotron, which accelerates protons to two-thirds the speed of light to stop with sub-millimeter precision in order to destroy a tumor.

“At CentraState, we truly believe that patients who can benefit from protons should have access locally to this important treatment option,” said John T. Gribbin, FACHE, president and CEO of CentraState Health System of Freehold, N.J. “For this reason, we collaborated with both Princeton Radiation Oncology and ProCure Treatment Centers to make this aspiration a reality. We’re thrilled that we’ll be able to help patients with cancer in our local area – and beyond.”

The 60,000-square-foot proton center took less than two years to complete and features four treatment rooms – all leveraging the latest technology in the field of proton therapy to be able to treat a wide range of patients. Once fully operational, the center will be able to treat about 1,500 patients a year.

Proton therapy is a precise form of radiation treatment for cancer without many of the short- and long-term side effects often experienced with standard X-ray radiation. The clinical benefits of protons are significant: increased tumor control, improved quality of life and reduced damage to healthy tissue, all made possible because the proton radiation dose is designed to peak in the tumor, emitting a radiation dose of almost zero once it leaves the tumor. Studies have shown proton therapy to be effective in treating many types of tumors, including brain, central nervous system, gastrointestinal, head and neck, lung and prostate, as well as sarcomas and many pediatric cancers.

It has been a long-time dream of mine to bring proton therapy closer to home,” said Dr. Brian Chon, medical director of the ProCure Proton Therapy Center, Somerset, N.J., and a board-certified radiation oncologist with Princeton Radiation Oncology. “I can’t speak highly enough about my colleagues and their passion, commitment and pure drive to bring this innovative and highly effective treatment option to patients. We’ll now be in a position to reach those in need – with a truly powerful and remarkable tool in the fight against cancer.”

Patients at the ProCure Proton Therapy Center will benefit from the expertise of a network of physicians and health care specialists who hail from prestigious institutions around the country, many of whom have direct experience with proton therapy.

Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in New Jersey. It’s estimated that approximately 49,000 New Jersey citizens will be diagnosed with cancer each year and more than 107,000 New York citizens will receive such a diagnosis.

The ProCure, CentraState and Princeton Radiation Oncology alliance represents individuals united for a common goal: provide the highest standard of care to patients suffering from cancer,” said James Jarrett, president of the ProCure Proton Therapy Center. “The need for a treatment center in the area is immense and from the start, we’ve been focused on one thing and one thing only: serving our patients and their families. With only a handful of proton centers in the U.S., it’s our hope that patients who need treatment will no longer be separated from their families or from their homes while receiving this powerful treatment. Patients can now rest assured that they will have access to effective therapy right here in New Jersey.”

The Procure Proton Therapy Center has been evaluating patients since February and will begin the first treatments on March 26.

For more information about the center, visit www.procure.com/nj or call 877-887-5807.

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