Todd Cancer Institute granted approval for constructing proton therapy center

The Todd Cancer Institute (TCI) at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center (LBMMC) and Miller Children’s Hospital (MCH) today announced it has been granted approval to proceed with the architecture and engineering for its proton therapy center, becoming one of only 13 centers in the country currently planning for a compact unit. The approval comes as a result of approximately one year of planning, and having a proton therapy center in Long Beach will provide Southern California patients with greater access to this new state-of-the-art technology.

Funding for the $25 million project and the equipment, manufactured by the Still Rivers Company, comes from capital and philanthropic hospital funds from both the hospital’s doctors as well as American Shared Hospital Services, which provides turnkey technology solutions for advanced radiosurgical and radiation therapy services. The installation of the proton unit demonstrates TCI’s ongoing commitment to bringing advanced medical treatments to cancer patients at both the local and national level.

“At the Todd Cancer Institute, we’re committed to providing advanced state-of-the-art treatments that meet each patient’s individual and unique needs,” said Diana Hendel, CEO at LBMMC/MCH. “Our investment in the proton therapy center will offer the residents of Southern California, as well as patients throughout the country, with a promising new treatment option to treat difficult to reach cancers and improve health outcomes.”

Proton therapy, used in both adults and children, is an advanced radiation treatment that works by aiming energized ion particles (protons) right at the targeted tumor. It is used to treat many forms of cancer; specifically in areas in the central nervous system, chest, head and neck, eyes and prostate. Recent studies have shown that proton therapy has a higher success rate and fewer complications than traditional radiation therapy when the cancer is located in difficult to reach areas, or when the damage to normal tissue creates a high degree of discomfort during treatment.

Construction on the proton therapy center will begin 2010, and the hospital expects to treat its first patient using the technology in 2012.

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