Proton pencil beam therapy targets cancerous tumors with great precision - Coming to Arizona
Cancer patients at Phoenix Children’s will have access to cutting edge radiation therapy in collaboration with Mayo Clinic, Arizona
Mayo Clinic announced their plans to establish the Mayo Clinic Proton Beam Therapy Program with pencil beam scanning. The therapy is highly precise, which allows greater control over radiation doses, shorter treatment times and fewer side effects.
Proton pencil beam therapy is a more targeted and precise way of administering radiation therapy. It allows a higher dose of radiation to cancerous tumors and at the same time minimizes dosage to healthy tissue. This results in improved tumor control, fewer negative side effects and a better chance of long term survival.
“The benefits to children are especially clear,” says Robert Foote, MD, chair of Mayo Clinic’s Department of Radiation Oncology in Rochester. “Children with cancer suffer the greatest long-term harm from conventional x-ray therapy since their organs are still developing.”
Previously, Phoenix Children’s patients who could benefit from the therapy had to travel to Houston or Boston for the extended course of treatment. Through a collaboration between Phoenix Children’s and Mayo Clinic Arizona, these patients will soon receive treatment locally as physicians at both hospitals work together to provide optimal treatment for each child.
Cancer specialists at Phoenix Children’s are eager to work more closely with Mayo Clinic Arizona to provide the therapy to their patients here in the Valley and to study the effects long-term.
“We’ve had a long and successful relationship with Mayo Clinic since 2001, when we opened our joint Bone Marrow Transplant Program.” said Dr. Michael Etzl, Medical Director of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. “Phoenix Children’s is proud again to be part of a program like this that will be beneficial for all children for years to come.”
The collaboration includes research to study the effects of radiation therapy and to advance cancer treatment for kids.
Construction and expansion details
Mayo Clinic will build two facilities simultaneously, one in Arizona and the other in Minnesota. Each will house the massive equipment weighing over 100 tons. The buildings will each be three stories in height and more than 100,000 square feet and have four treatment rooms. In Arizona, the total expenditures for the structure will be approximately $182 million. The centers are expected to take their first patients at the end of 2014 or early 2015 and expect to treat approximately 2,400 patients annually.
When fully operational the Arizona Center is expected to employ more than 130 staff members, including more than 20 physicians and nine Ph.D. physicists.
Press conference photo
Front row - Dr. Michael Etzl, medical director of the Phoenix Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, joined Mayo Clinic executives Dr. Victor Trastek (right center), Dr. John Noseworthy (right) and others to announce Mayo Clinic’s commitment to build a Proton Beam Therapy Program in Arizona.
More information about the Mayo Clinic Proton Beam Therapy Program
AZ Central article: Mayo Clinic unveils plans for sophisticated cancer treatment