In recent news, health leaders from across the state discussed bringing proton therapy centers to North Texas. What does that mean and how would that affect cancer treatment? Scott Cheek, M.D., an oncologist on the medical staff at the Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center in Dallas sat down to answer some questions.
Q: What is proton therapy? What are the benefits to the patient?
Proton therapy provides highly targeted, precise radiation therapy to destroy cancer cells while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue. Proton therapy localizes the radiation dose to a level unequaled by current radiation technologies with fewer side effects.
The therapy is non-invasive and allows patients to maintain their current quality of life.
Q: What types of cancer are treated with proton therapy?
Proton therapy most often treats localized tumors in sensitive areas where surgery is usually not an option. Proton therapy is used for prostate, brain, head, neck, bladder, lung, eye and spinal cancers. It is also a beneficial option for children.
Q: What would a proton therapy center mean for North Texas?
This advanced technology and the development of this proton therapy center would offer North Texans another important treatment option in the fight against cancer.
We understand how important caregivers, family, friends, and loved ones are during treatment. Bringing this facility to North Texas would provide a closer and more convenient treatment option for our patients and their families.
The proposed facility would be the first proton therapy center in North Texas, further positioning Dallas-Fort Worth as a leading destination for advanced cancer care for regional, national, and international patients. The facility would also enable access to clinical trials and collaboration with other leading centers that offer proton therapy around the world.
Q: When will the center open in North Texas?
The process for completing the project will include reaching a final collaborative agreement among the partners; selecting a building site and vendors for the technology and construction, and constructing the facility itself.
We expect that construction for a facility such as this would take two to three years to complete. Once completed, the facility would provide services through Texas Oncology. We will share more details as the project progresses.
This post was contributed by Scott Cheek, M.D., an oncologist that specializes in radiation on the medical staff at the Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas.