April 9, 2007
ProCure Begins Construction on Oklahoma’s First Proton Therapy Cancer Treatment Center
Advanced proton cancer therapy is one step closer to becoming a reality in Oklahoma following today's groundbreaking ceremony by ProCure Treatment Centers, Inc. The groundbreaking signals the start of construction on Oklahoma's first proton cancer treatment center, which will be located along a growing medical corridor in northwest Oklahoma City. Named the Oklahoma ProCure Treatment Center, the new center also represents the nation's first private practice proton center.
The 55,000-square-foot facility, featuring four proton treatment rooms, will provide access to as many as 1,500 cancer patients per year in Oklahoma to proton therapy, considered the most advanced form of external radiation therapy available for treating cancer. Scheduled to open in summer 2009, the four treatment rooms include two inclined-beam rooms, one fixed horizontal beam room and one gantry treatment room, giving radiation oncologists broad versatility in selecting the precise proton treatment for a particular cancer and situation.ProCure Chief Executive Officer Hadley Ford commended state medical and business community leaders for working together to rapidly bring proton therapy to Oklahoma.
"We would not be standing here today if it weren't for the outstanding work of innovators like Dr. W.C. Goad, who initially brought our attention to Oklahoma, and our physician partners at Radiation Medicine Associates and Radiation Oncology Associates," Ford said. "Together, with the support and leadership of visionary investors Aubrey McClendon, Shannon Self and John Frick, and the outstanding forward-thinking at INTEGRIS Health, we are turning this dream into a reality in a very timely, seamless manner. As a result, proton cancer treatment will now be a reality in Oklahoma sooner rather than later."
"There are no radiation cancer treatments available in the world today as precise and effective as proton therapy," Ford said. "Bringing this technology to the people of this great state is indeed a momentous occasion in the fight against cancer, and it provides a blueprint for the rest of the nation to follow in making proton therapy available to everyone who would benefit from the treatment."
"Proton therapy is currently only available in five other locations. With this facility, we can provide the most advanced external radiation treatment to the people of Oklahoma and help position Oklahoma City as a national leader in proton cancer treatment," said Dr. W.C. Goad, ProCure Oklahoma physician partner. "With significantly less damage to healthy tissue and vastly diminished post-treatment side effects, proton therapy has superior results to conventional radiation."
To date, nearly 50,000 cancer sufferers worldwide have benefited from proton therapy. Additional treatment facilities are needed in communities across the country to keep up with increasing public demand. In 2005, only 3,000 treatment slots were available for an estimated 250,000 qualified patients. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Oklahoma with nearly 18,000 new cases diagnosed each year.
Proton therapy uses a controlled beam of protons to halt the growth of cancer cells in a tumor. Nearly 50,000 cancer sufferers have taken advantage of the technology to effectively treat various forms of cancer.
The procedure is non-invasive, painless, and destroys tumors while greatly reducing damage to the surrounding, healthy tissue. Proton therapy's ability to precisely target tumors makes it ideal for treating tumors near vital organs, particularly in children, who are more sensitive than adults to the effects of radiation.
"With the construction of this proton therapy treatment center, Oklahoma City is taking another important step toward leading the nation in the development and use of the latest technology to treat cancer," Mayor Mick Cornett said during today's event. "The ProCure facility is a wonderful complement to our thriving biotech and medical research community."
Construction of the facility is expected to create approximately 850 temporary jobs, and once operational, will provide 100 full-time jobs with salaries averaging more than $100,000 per year.
In the United States, proton therapy is currently only available in five major academic centers: Loma Linda University Medical Center in southern California, Massachusetts General Hospital (Harvard Medical School) in Boston, the Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute in Bloomington, Indiana, The University of Florida in Jacksonville, and the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.
Indiana-based ProCure Treatment Centers, Inc. was founded in 2005 by Dr. John Cameron, who played a pivotal role in the creation of one of the nation's first proton therapy treatment facilities, the Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute in Bloomington, Indiana. ProCure provides management support and a proven model for the complete design, construction, operation and maintenance of proton therapy treatment centers in an effort to make proton therapy accessible to everyone who would benefit from the treatment.
For more information about ProCure Treatment Centers, Inc., please visit www.procurecenters.com.