Willis-Knighton Cancer Center
This is what the finished proton chamber at Willis-Knighton Cancer Center will look like.
Willis-Knighton Cancer Center has produced the first high-energy proton beam for the treatment of tumors.
The Proteus ONE from Ion Beam Applications S.A. EURONEXT is the first of its kind in the world. This compact option for proton therapy allows precise targeting of tumors, minimizing risk to the healthy tissue surrounding the tumor. Radiation oncologists at Willis-Knighton expect this new therapy to enhance the treatment options for a wider range of patients.
Treatments are anticipated to begin in 2014, following approval of the installation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“IBA and Willis-Knighton Cancer Center are demonstrating how a strong partnership can bring advanced cancer care to our community,” Dr. Lane R. Rosen, director of radiation oncology at the cancer center, said in a news release. “We look forward to starting treatment of patients next year using the world’s first Proteus ONE solution.”
Similar proton therapy technology has been used to treat more than 25,000 cancer patients worldwide.
The proton beam was tuned by a team of physicists and engineers led by IBA’s founder and chief research officer, Yves Jongen. The beam reached target specifications for beam size and shape at isocenter (where the patient will be treated). In the coming months, the team will fine tune these results to deliver the most precise proton therapy treatments possible to patients at Willis-Knighton.
Jongen called it a “very important milestone in the development of our compact proton therapy solution.”
The Willis-Knighton Cancer Center’s Department of Radiation Oncology is accredited by the American College of Radiation Oncology (ACRO) and the American College of Radiology (ACR). Radiation oncologists at Willis-Knighton have been world leaders since 1998 with the adoption of Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) and Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT).
Willis-Knighton installed the world’s third clinical TomoTherapy system and hosted the first international TomoTherapy conference in 2004. The American Brachytherapy Society (ABS) has deemed Willis-Knighton a Brachytherapy Center of Excellence and named it as one of six national training sites in North America where new physicians can come for a one-week residency to learn the intricacies of brachytherapy.
The department is also a founding member of the largest medical physics residency program in the United States, teaching post-graduate physicists the intricacies of clinical physics which are critical to safe and successful radiation therapy.