Proton therapy cancer treatment is increasing at a steady pace

January 1, 2007

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Jacksonville, Fla. (January 31, 2007) - Less than six months after opening its doors to the first patients, the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute performed its 1,000th proton therapy treatment the week of January 8. More than 55 patients, primarily prostate cancer patients, have been treated leading up to this significant event at the cancer treatment facility.

"Each patient receives a daily proton therapy treatment that is precisely customized to his or her anatomy. Over a six to eight week period, a patient receives 30 to 40 proton therapy treatments," said Stuart Klein, executive director of the UF Proton Therapy Institute. "Performing the 1,000th treatment is the result of the coordinated efforts of determined physicians, physicists and staff. It demonstrates we are well on our way and expanding our capacity to deliver life saving proton therapy."

The 1000th treatment came just days after a second treatment room opened at the facility, effectively doubling patient volume. With the second treatment room, the UF Proton Therapy Institute is now treating patients who have brain and head and neck cancers , in addition to prostate cancer patients. The facility is currently treating 40 patients per day.

Proton therapy is a precise radiation treatment that destroys cancer cells and minimizes damage to healthy tissue. This results in higher cure rates, a low incidence of side effects and fewer long-term effects, especially for treating children and cancers located in sensitive areas like the brain, head and neck, lung, breast and prostate. More than 40,000 people worldwide have received proton therapy in the past 50 years. Innovations in equipment and technology have made this treatment more accessible in recent years.

The University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization affiliated with the UF College of Medicine and the UF Shands Cancer Center, national leaders in cancer treatment and research. Florida Proton is dedicated to delivering state-of-the-art cancer treatment and strives to set new standards for treating and curing the disease. The cancer treatment facility houses both conventional radiation and proton therapy, and when it is at capacity will deliver proton therapy to up to 150 patients a day. For more information about Florida Proton, please visit, or call toll-free 877-686-6009.

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