Executive Director Message

 

StuartKlein.pngWhat kind of impact can a donor make at our proton therapy center? We see it in the eyes of our pediatric patients who are delighted to return day after day to the newly renovated Jane and Mike McLain Pediatric Recovery Room. We see it in the faces of our patients and caregivers who gather around the art table and concentrate on an art project for a while, not cancer. We see it in the dedication of our clinical research team who document and analyze patient outcomes and publish results. These are a few examples of how the generous philanthropic support of many makes high-quality, compassionate and cutting-edge medicine possible. It is truly an honor to receive these gifts and to see the impact in patient care every day.

 

Stuart L. Klein

Executive Director

Prostate Cancer in Young Men – Long-term Outcomes Study

 

Dr. HoppeMen age 60 and younger treated with proton therapy for prostate cancer at the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute report excellent long-term outcomes related to cure rate and health-related quality of life.

A long-term, prospective clinical study followed 254 low-, intermediate-, and high-risk prostate cancer patients for seven years. Outcomes for cancer recurrence were charted as well as incidence of side effects impacting sexual, urinary and bowel health. Results from the study were published last month in Acta Oncologica.

Median follow-up was 7.1 years and 97.8 percent of men had no evidence of cancer. Cancer-free survival was 99.2 percent and 97.7 percent for low- and intermediate-risk prostate cancer patients respectively.

Potency (erections firm enough for sexual intercourse) was 90 percent at baseline and declined to 72 percent at the first-year follow-up, but declined to only 67 percent at five years. Only two percent of patients developed urinary incontinence requiring pads. The bowel habits mean score declined from a baseline of 96 to 88 at one year, which improved over the following years to 93 at five years.

Men who are 60 years old or younger when diagnosed with prostate cancer have a life expectancy of more than 10 years. The treatment decision – most often surgery or radiation – can significantly impact quality of life depending on the risk of side effects.

“Since similar local control and overall survival have been observed for surgery and radiation, health-related quality of life has emerged as an increasing focus in men considering their treatment options. Several investigations have reported fear of incontinence was a decision-making factor in men, while a more recent study reported that younger men placed more importance on sexual function when choosing treatment options,” said Bradford S. Hoppe, MD, MPH, James E. Lockwood, Jr., Endowed Chair of Proton Therapy at the University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute. “Our study provides meaningful information for clinicians and patients to consider when evaluating treatment options that may minimize the risk of erectile dysfunction.”

 

Florida Cancer Center of Excellence Designation Renewed

 

Florida Cancer Center of ExcellenceThe University of Florida Health Cancer Center, including the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute, has once again been recognized as a Cancer Center of Excellence by Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Department of Health.

The UF Health Cancer Center is one of four centers in the state to receive this designation. The UF Health Proton Therapy Institute is the only Cancer Center of Excellence in Jacksonville that treats patients with proton therapy – an advanced form of radiation therapy.

“More than an honor, the Cancer Center of Excellence designation is an important assurance for patients and their families seeking the best possible cancer treatment,” said Stuart Klein, the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute executive director. “Each of our 165 staff members is committed to serving patients with high-quality, compassionate care every day.”

The Cancer Center of Excellence designation was created by the Florida Legislature in 2013 to recognize exemplary patient-centered coordinated care and to help Florida providers be recognized nationally as a preferred destination for quality cancer care — while simultaneously attracting and retaining the best cancer providers in the state, according to the Florida Department of Health website.

The three-year designation is awarded to hospitals and treatment centers that meet strict performance standards in three areas: health care organization, health care team members, and patients and family members. Scores are based on rating standards created by a joint committee of members from the Cancer Control and Research Advisory Council and the Biomedical Research Advisory Council, two advisory groups mandated by the Florida Legislature.

Receiving this designation once again is a testament to the UF Health Cancer Center’s dedication to innovative and collaborative patient-centered care, said Jonathan Licht, MD, the director of the UF Health Cancer Center.

“We continue to strive toward excellence in our mission to save lives and to provide the highest level of care across the cancer spectrum,” said Licht.

COMPPARE Workshop Kicks Off National Prostate Cancer Study

 

COMPPARE Workshop


Researchers, physicians, scientists and patient advocates convened at a workshop on Amelia Island, Fla., to discuss and plan implementation of the national prostate cancer study recently funded by the Patient Centered Outcomes and Research Institute (PCORI). The study, A Prospective Comparative Study of Outcomes with Proton and Photon Radiation in Prostate Cancer (COMPPARE), aims to accrue 3,000 men, 1,500 treated with proton therapy and 1,500 treated with conventional photon (X-ray) radiation.

The meeting established best practices for treatment and patient safety, data gathering protocols, and patient recruitment including an ethnically diverse population. The clinical trial will begin accruing patients from 42 participating clinical settings across the country within the next 12 months.

Raising Awareness of Proton Therapy

 

Raising Awareness of Proton Therapy Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer diagnosed in men, and African-American men are at greater risk of diagnosis and death from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society. Raising awareness of the risk is one way to encourage screening and early detection and to potentially improve patient outcomes. Once diagnosed, understanding the treatment options available, the cure rates and potential for side effects, is an important part of the treatment decision-making process.

The UF Health Proton Therapy Institute recently held an information session and tour of the facility for the Upsilon Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., a black fraternity chapter in Jacksonville. Nancy Mendenhall, MD, medical director, led the tour and presented an overview of the prostate cancer treatment program. She described the new national prostate cancer clinical trial, led by the Institute, to compare conventional radiation and proton therapy. The study aims to include a diverse population, including African-Americans, to accurately document treatment outcomes.

Proton therapy’s impact on African-American prostate cancer patients has been an area of interest for the research program for many years. A study published last year by the Institute in the American Journal of Clinical Oncology1 suggests that African-American and white patients had similarly excellent results following proton therapy for prostate cancer. There was no difference detected between the two groups in their cure rates or in their sexual, urinary or bowel function following proton therapy.

1Bryant, Curtis et al. “Does Race Influence Health-Related Quality of Life and Toxicity Following Proton Therapy for Prostate Cancer?” American Journal of Clinical Oncology. 39.3 (2016): 261–265. PMC. Web. 24 Mar. 2017.

 

Philanthropists Jane and Mike McLain Make Major Gift to Pediatric Program

 

Jane and Mike McLain

The UF Health Proton Therapy Institute has named the pediatric recovery room in honor of philanthropists Jane and Mike McLain to acknowledge their support of the pediatric program. The McLains’ $200,000 gift will fund clinical research and the many support services designed to ease the treatment process for patients.

The Jane and Mike McLain Pediatric Recovery Room is an essential area of the clinic where children under the age of 5 are prepared for and recover from daily proton therapy. Staffed by full-time pediatric oncology nurses and pediatric anesthesiologists, the room is equipped with child-sized furniture and other medical devices designed specifically for children.

Proton therapy is a cancer treatment that delivers radiation precisely to the treatment area with minimal or no radiation to normal, healthy tissue. For optimal results in proton therapy, it is necessary for the patient to lie in exactly the same position without moving during treatment each day to ensure the proton beam is focused on the targeted treatment area. Most patients over the age of 5 who receive daily proton therapy do not require sedation. However, the youngest patients – infants and those under the age of 5 – are often unable to remain completely still during the 30- to 45-minute daily treatment. For them, sedation is necessary for accuracy and safety.

“We are very grateful for this generous and compassionate gift from Jane and Mike McLain,” said Nancy Mendenhall, MD, medical director of the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute. “The value of their contribution to the comfort of our youngest patients and their families is beyond measure. And the research their gift enables will impact generations to come.”

The Jane and Mike McLain Pediatric Recovery Room was recently renovated to provide additional privacy for patients and families and a décor designed to promote healing.

“The soft lighting and soothing color palette and design has transformed the space that was formerly sterile and clinical into a tranquil area that is child friendly, welcoming and calming,” said Amy Sapp, director of pediatric nursing. “The space has a positive impact on both the medical and psychosocial well-being of the children and their families by decreasing anxiety and stress related to the various medical procedures encountered on a daily basis as well as providing an area for play and distraction.”

The comprehensive renovation was made possible through the generous support of many donors who are recognized on a newly unveiled sign in the recovery room. “Thanks to all who contributed in large and small ways through the UFHPTI For the Children Fund. And thanks to our volunteers, many of whom are alumni patients, who have championed this fundraising effort,” said Stuart Klein, executive director.

 

About This Newsletter

The Precision Newsletter is an electronic-only publication that is distributed by email. Each issue is sent monthly to patients, alumni patients and friends of the University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute. As the official newsletter of the Institute, the content is compiled and prepared by our communications representative and approved by the editor Stuart Klein, executive director of UF Health Proton Therapy Institute. Special bulletin newsletters may occasionally be prepared when timely topics and new developments in proton therapy occur.  We will make every effort to remove your name from the list. If you would like to send a Letter to the Editor, please click here.

 

Keep In Touch

It is easy to stay in touch with us online at floridaproton.org . Look at the top right corner of the homepage for Facebook , Twitter and YouTube icons, click and join us in the social media conversation. Also on the right side of the homepage there is a button for VTOC Patient Portal . Click here to open your secure account, view your records, complete clinical trial questionnaires and communicate with your nurse case manager.

 

Knowing how you are feeling during and after treatment is essential to providing you the best care possible and contributes to the care of future patients.