University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute is Hosting International Medical Conference on State-of-the-Art Cancer Treatment

May 1, 2008

Jacksonville, Fla. (May 12, 2008) - This month, The University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute plays host to 500 international physicians, physicists and other medical researchers assembling to discuss advances in proton therapy for fighting cancer. On May 19-24, members of the Particle Therapy Co-operative Group (PTCOG) will meet in Jacksonville, Florida, to share and discuss 150 clinical and basic research presentations. UF Proton Therapy Institute staff will present results from 12 clinical research efforts conducted at the facility.

"As the newest proton therapy facility operating in the United States, we're honored to host our colleagues from around the world," said Dr. Nancy Mendenhall, medical director of UF Proton Therapy Institute. "This assembly provides a collaborative forum to share information, exchange ideas and discuss recent findings and applications of proton radiation."

Proton therapy is a precise radiation treatment that destroys cancer cells with minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissue. This results in higher cure rates, lower incidence of side effects and fewer long-term effects. Proton therapy is especially beneficial for treating cancer in children and adult cancers located in sensitive areas like the head and neck, lung, brain, spine, and prostate.

PTCOG is an association of physicians, medical physicists, dosimetrists, engineers and proton facility administrators involved in the application and research of radiation therapy that uses protons, light ions and heavy-charged particles to treat cancer and other diseases. Registered attendees come from 29 clinical facilities located in 23 countries including: Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and the U.S.

As the host facility, the UF Proton Therapy Institute is responsible for all aspects of the conference, including securing presenters, selecting the abstracts for presentation, and arranging all logistics. A team from the UF Proton Therapy Institute consisting of Mendenhall, Jatinder Palta, PhD, Zuofeng Li and Stuart Klein, directed the efforts. Last year, Wanjie Proton Therapy Center in Zibo, China, hosted PTCOG's annual meeting.

UF 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. UF Proton Therapy Institute 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 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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