South Florida Proton Center to Partner With University of Miami

MIAMI, July 28 /PRNewswire/ — The South Florida Proton Center and University of Miami Miller School of Medicine announce the first university affiliated proton treatment facility in South Florida. The $85-100 million facility, officially “The South Florida Proton Center at The University of Miami,” will be located at the new UM Life Sciences Park and will be a LEED certified green building.

Proton therapy uses a sophisticated system with a particle accelerator to precisely deposit radiation directly within tumors while sparing adjacent healthy tissues and organs. According to South Florida Proton Center Executive Director, James G. Schwade, M.D., FACR, FACRO, FASTRO, “Our goal is to make proton therapy affordable and accessible to cancer patients across the region.” Using new technology from Varian Medical Systems, Inc. of Palo Alto, California, the planned center will offer cancer patients the most advanced and precise proton therapy in the world.

The South Florida Proton Center has also secured participation from physicians within the regional community so that continuity of care will be maximized. “This will serve our patients and also potentially help with our discovery mission and lab work,” said Dr. Bart Chernow, VP for special programs and resource strategy at UM’s Miller School of Medicine. “UM physicians would have the opportunity to work there and help to provide medical leadership.”

“By working with Varian, the world leader in radiotherapy technology, we intend to build a more affordable facility capable of delivering intensity modulated proton therapy utilizing scanning beam technology, the most advanced form of this type of therapy,” said Dr. Schwade.

Unlike other proton therapy facilities, the South Florida Proton Center plans to proceed with a second facility in Northern Palm Beach County, as well. According to Schwade, this will facilitate access by a greater number of patients and physicians. Said Schwade, “We’ve shown with our previous projects, such as the two regional Cyberknife sites, that giving access to the maximum number of qualified physicians ensures access for the maximum number of patients.”

Construction is planned to commence in July of 2009, and SFPC is actively exploring sites in Palm Beach County for the second facility.

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The South Florida Proton Center

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