UF Health Proton Therapy Institute featured extensively in premiere radiation oncology journal’s special issue on particle therapy

May 2, 2016

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  • Six original articles by UF Health Proton Therapy Institute report clinical research outcomes
  • International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics is the official journal of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO)
  • Proton treatment outcomes of five types of cancer reported

JACKSONVILLE, Florida (May 2, 2016) — A special particle therapy issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics, the leading radiation oncology journal, online and in print, signals a tipping point in the quantity and quality of research being produced at academic health centers that use proton therapy to treat many kinds of cancers. The University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute is one of the major contributors to the May 2016 special edition with six original articles reporting patient outcomes following proton therapy for five types of cancers.

Among more than 70 articles accepted for publication in the issue, only 20 deal with actual treatment outcomes, including six UF Health Proton Therapy Institute articles, which report data compiled in prospective studies with actual patient- and physician-reported outcomes in treating cancers of the breast, skull base and spine, head and neck, lung and prostate.

UF Health Proton Therapy Institute lead authors and article titles are:

Summary: Proton therapy delivered an effective radiation dose to the intended treatment area while significantly reducing collateral radiation dose to healthy lungs and heart.

Summary: High-dose proton therapy controls more than half of spinal chordomas and chondrosarcomas and compares favorably with other forms of radiotherapy treatment.

Summary: Early evidence suggests proton therapy may improve local control of advanced sinonasal cancers and reduce loss of vision and other treatment related toxicities.

Summary: Dose-escalated proton therapy with concurrent chemotherapy was well tolerated with encouraging results among a small cohort of patients.

Summary: Proton therapy may offer an effective salvage treatment for patients with local recurrence of prostate cancer after initial treatment with cryosurgery or high-intensity focused ultrasound.

Summary: In a large cohort of over 1300 men followed at least five years, proton therapy was found to be highly effective treatment with minimal side effects for low-, intermediate-, and high-risk prostate cancer.

In addition, a survey article cites UF Health Proton Therapy Institute as the only center in the Southeast and one of only 11 centers worldwide treating ocular melanoma and one of only two centers worldwide investigating the role of proton therapy in acute macular degeneration.  Other recent publications from UF Health Proton Therapy Institute include promising outcomes with proton therapy in patients with lymphoma, pediatric tumors and pancreatic cancer. 

“Our primary missions at UF Health Proton Therapy Institute are clinical care and clinical research. Our purpose is to give patients the best quality cancer treatment. Careful planning and attention to detail goes into every single patient treatment, beginning with the development of treatment protocols and clinical trials. We invest heavily in research because we want to see a day when all patients with cancer are cured and none are burdened with side effects of treatment,” said UF Health Proton Therapy Institute Medical Director Nancy P. Mendenhall, MD.

“Our investment is paying off. Meaningful data is being generated that helps us understand the effect of proton therapy on many kinds of cancer and how patients’ bodies respond to the treatment,” she said. “We are encouraged that proton therapy is able to meet or exceed standard treatment cure rates, often with a reduced risk of side effects. These discoveries lead to more exploration and will continuously improve patient treatment for years to come.”

About proton therapy

Proton therapy is a type of radiation treatment that uses particles of an atom, protons, to deliver radiation. Protons have the potential to improve the therapeutic ratio in patients: delivering more curative dose in the tumor while delivering little or no dose to surrounding healthy tissue, thereby increasing the chance for cure and reducing the risk of side effects. Until recently, only a handful of academic medical centers in the U.S. were equipped with proton therapy. Today, 23 facilities offer proton therapy in the U.S., but access remains limited. Approximately one million people are treated with some form of radiation annually in the United States.1   Proton therapy accounts for an estimated one percent of those treated.

About UF Health Proton Therapy Institute

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, 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 toll-free 877-686-6009.


1. https://www.astro.org/News-and-Media/Media-Resources/FAQs/Fast-Facts-About-Radiation-Therapy/Index.aspx. Retrieved April 1, 2016.

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