Radiation oncologist Randal Henderson, M.D., honored as a ‘Health Care Hero’

November 3, 2011

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Randal Henderson, M.D., M.B.A., associate medical director of the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute, was honored today as a 2011 Jacksonville Business Journal "Health Care Hero," winning the oncology category. Henderson was recognized at a breakfast awards event and is featured in a special section of the Jacksonville Business Journal.

Henderson's recently published work in medical journals details the specialized proton treatment of prostate cancer and increases recognition among radiation oncologists and other physicians of the UF Proton Therapy Institute in Jacksonville. His clinical trial research focuses on prostate cancer treatment with proton therapy that provides patients the best chance for cure while preserving the best possible quality of life during and after treatment.

Currently, Henderson is leading a prostate cancer clinical trial to observe the effectiveness of delivering high dose proton therapy over a shorter treatment period. Growing evidence suggests that because protons can be targeted to avoid normal rectal and bladder tissues, higher doses of radiation can be safely and effectively delivered to prostate cancer tumors, reducing the number of required treatments. Generally, prostate cancer radiotherapy is an eight-week treatment. Patients enrolled in the study will receive proton therapy during a 5 ½-week period.

"Dr. Randal Henderson is well-regarded in the medical community, and it is a privilege to have such an incredible physician treating patients at our proton therapy facility," said Stuart Klein, executive director of the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute.

Henderson has more than 25 years experience as a radiation oncologist and is board certified in therapeutic radiology. A UF faculty member and physician at Shands Jacksonville since 1998, he has led the department of radiation oncology as its medical director, associate chairman and since 2006 as associate medical director of the UF Proton Therapy Institute. Henderson specializes in the areas of gynecologic malignances and cancers of the lung, prostate and head and neck.

The UF Proton Therapy Institute, open since 2006, treats cancer patients with proton therapy, a form of radiation that destroys cancerous tumors while preventing damage to healthy, normal body tissue and organs. Proton therapy is the only radiation treatment that can accomplish both an optimal high dose and spare healthy tissue, especially for hard to reach tumors in the brain, head and neck, prostate and lung and for cancer in children.

UF Proton Therapy Institute is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization affiliated with the UF College of Medicine, dedicated to delivering state-of-the-art cancer treatment and setting new standards for treating and curing the disease. The cancer treatment facility houses both conventional radiation and proton therapy, and delivers proton therapy to 100 patients a day. For more information about UF Proton Therapy Institute, please visit www.floridaproton.org, or call toll-free 877-686-6009.

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