Expanded access to proton therapy

The New York Proton Center (NYPC) – a consortium of five leading hospitals in New York City, including Continuum Health Partners, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Montefiore Medical Center, the Mount Sinai Medical Center, and New York University Langone Medical Center – today announced an agreement with ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Somerset, NJ, CentraState Health Care System, Princeton Radiation Oncology and management services for NYPC being provided by 21st Century Oncology, a national provider of advanced radiation oncology services. This agreement will give the consortium’s patients access to a state-of-the-art proton treatment center in Somerset, NJ, one of only 12 such centers in the nation and the only center in the New York and New Jersey region. Proton therapy is a unique form of precision radiation that directly attacks tumors while minimizing potentially damaging radiation to surrounding healthy tissues and organs.

The NYPC consortium noted in a brief statement that they are “deeply committed to providing the highest standard of care to cancer patients, which includes access to proton therapy. For certain patients, especially those with solid tumors surrounded by sensitive tissue and vital organs, proton therapy is often the treatment of choice.”

Studies have shown proton therapy to be effective in treating many types of tumors, including pediatric cancers and selected tumors of the head and neck, brain, spinal cord, breast, gastrointestinal system, lung and prostate.

Unlike traditional x-ray beams that deposit a dose of radiation all the way through the patient’s body, proton beams stop abruptly and do not deliver radiation dose beyond the tumor. In many cases, this unique property of protons allows physicians to concentrate radiation within the tumor while reducing the dose to surrounding tissues with greater precision than can be achieved with conventional radiation beams, thereby reducing the risk of side effects and improving the patient’s quality of life.

Recognizing these benefits of proton therapy for patients with specific tumor types, NYPC’s agreement with the ProCure Proton Therapy Center allows this therapy to be conveniently accessible for their patients. Under the agreement, patients receiving care at NYPC hospitals who need proton therapy will continue to have their treatments provided by their physicians who will now have treatment privileges at the Proton Center.

“It has always been the Mission of ProCure and our affiliate CentraState Healthcare System to make proton therapy available to as many patients as possible,” said Dr. Oren Cahlon of Princeton Radiation Oncology, Medical Director of the ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Somerset, NJ. “Our agreement with NYPC allows us to share our access to proton therapy and takes us one step closer to fulfilling our Mission.”

The ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Somerset, NJ, in affiliation with CentraState Healthcare System and Princeton Radiation Oncology, opened in March 2012.

The New York Proton Therapy Center (NYPC) is an alliance of five leading cancer treatment institutions in New York City and 21st Century Oncology including Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York University Langone Medical Center, Montefiore Medical Center, the Mount Sinai Medical Center, and Continuum Health Partners. The five institutions include many of the premier cancer treatment institutions in the world and together treat 19,000 new cancer patients every year.

Princeton Radiation Oncology (PRO) is the largest radiation oncology practice in New Jersey and consists of 14 board-certified radiation oncologists all who have trained at the best cancer programs in the country, including Harvard Medical School, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins, and MD Anderson. PRO physicians are highly specialized in the most advanced forms of radiation therapy, including proton therapy, and provide highly compassionate, individualized care for all patients at six cancer centers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

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