UF Health Proton Therapy Institute Completes $44 Million Expansion
A Fifth Treatment Room Allows the Institute to Treat the Broadest Range of Cancers
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (August 29, 2023) – The University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute has completed the installation of a dedicated nozzle in an original gantry, or treatment room, that delivers pencil beam scanning to cancer patients. The reopening of this treatment room is the third and final phase in a $44 million expansion and upgrade project that began in 2016.
The Institute now has a total of five treatment rooms: four gantries, three of which can deliver pencil beam scanning and one fixed beam treatment room. The technology and expansion allow the Institute to treat 25% more patients with cancer. All rooms have the latest image guidance which allows for pinpoint accuracy in delivering proton therapy that can stop where physicians direct it in the body.
“The reopening of the fifth treatment room, and offering pencil beam scanning in multiple treatment rooms, puts us at the forefront of proton therapy and particle delivery,” said Dr. Nancy Mendenhall, medical director of the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute. “We are able to optimize treatment delivery for each patient and customize it for the best results.”
The UF Health Proton Therapy Institute has one of the most versatile proton therapy systems in the world with two cyclotrons, offering both double scattering and pencil beam scanning technologies, which enables the Institute to treat the broadest possible spectrum of patients and target tumors precisely while creating less damage to the healthy tissue surrounding the tumor.
Pencil beam scanning uses magnets to steer the proton beam, creating a customized, three-dimensional delivery shape. During treatment, radiation is deposited layer by layer, conforming the dose to the specific shape of the treatment area and destroying cancer cells while preserving critical structures nearby.
When the Institute opened in 2006 it had four treatment rooms. Today, the technologically advanced proton therapy facility has treated over 11,000 patients from northeast Florida, all 50 states, and 34 countries. Other phases of the project included upgrades to the existing treatment rooms, new proton therapy imaging system and new treatment planning software, a 10,000 square foot expansion and installation of the compact, single-room proton therapy system, ProteusOne, with treatments starting in December 2019. Some of the initial funding for the project was provided by the Florida Legislature.
About the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute
The UF Health Proton Therapy Institute is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization affiliated with the UF College of Medicine and the UF Health Cancer Center, a Florida Cancer Center of Excellence and NCI-Designated Cancer Center, dedicated to delivering state-of-the-art cancer treatment and setting new standards for treating and curing cancer. It is an accredited radiation oncology facility by the American College of Radiology. The cancer treatment facility houses both conventional radiation and proton therapy and delivers proton therapy to 100 patients a day. For more information about the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute, please visit www.floridaproton.org or call 904.588.1800.