Monday, January 20, 2014

13th Proton Beam Center Treats First Patient in Knoxville, TN.

When Joe Hamby was diagnosed with prostate cancer early last year, the owner of a medical staffing firm started doing his research. He talked with his doctor, searched the Internet and went to a support group for prostate cancer survivors. “It seemed like the ones smiling the most were the ones who had gone through proton therapy,” he recalled. “This approach seemed to be the option with the fewest complications and the highest success rate.” At the time of his diagnosis, Hamby had never heard of proton therapy, an advanced radiation treatment that uses a single beam of high-energy protons to target various forms of cancer. This week, Hamby will be among the first five prostate cancer patients to be treated at the Provision Center for Proton Therapy in the Dowell Springs Business Park off Middlebrook Pike. More than 20 patients are signed up to start treatment in the center’s first month. Since getting state approval to build the $119 million facility three years ago, businessman Terry Douglass and his team at Provision Health Alliance have been steadily working toward Monday, when Provision becomes the 13th proton treatment facility in the country and the first in Tennessee. “It’s exciting, but I think more than anything I feel that we’ve been able to develop this for the community and the community has been very responsive,” Douglass said. “We’re on schedule. We’re on budget. We couldn’t be more thankful for all of that, but there’s still plenty to do.” The facility will expand its cancer treatment capabilities in the spring and fall when additional rotating gantries come online. The devices will allow Provision to treat a wider range of tumors, including breast, lung, liver, pancreatic, brain and pediatric cancers. Unlike traditional radiation treatment, the highly precise proton therapy leaves surrounding tissue unharmed and reduces treatment-related side effects, said Dr. Marcio Fagundes, the center’s medical director. For example, in prostate cancer the proton beam can be selectively deposited with minimum exposure to the bladder and rectum. For breast cancer, it can target the left breast without having the heart be exposed to unnecessary radiation. Because many patients are done after just a month of treatment, it becomes less expensive or costs the same as traditional radiation treatment, which typically takes twice as long to treat, he added. Patients have treatments five days a week for four to eight weeks that take about 15 minutes each. “It’s painless. There are no immediate side effects like nausea or vomiting. Patients can continue their normal activities,” Fagundes said. Hamby, for instance, said he plans to go to work after coming in for his first treatment at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. Still, some health insurance providers are limiting treatment coverage or not covering it at all for prostate cancer. While Medicare covers the treatment, Douglass said he’s working with carriers on what the reimbursement will be. The next phase of the Provision campus will include the addition of a welcome center and 40-unit lodge for overnight patients and their families. The hope is to start construction later this year, said Bill Hansen, Provision vice president of business and strategic development. It will be built on vacant land in front of the proton center. Eventually, the plan is to build a community center, an extension of the nearby wellness facility that would include a pool, and a training facility for the medical community. While less than 50 percent of the center’s first patients will be coming from out of town, the expectation is that the center will draw patients from all over the Southeast, said Nancy Howard, vice president of Provision CARES Foundation and Center for Proton Therapy patient services. Providing a comforting environment for those out-of-town patients is a top priority. Former patients, who have been treated by proton therapy elsewhere, like Gordan Webster, will serve as ambassadors, offering information and inspiration, Howard said. In addition to a staffed hospitality manager in the lobby of the center, there will be organized patient programs, including lunches, dinners and patient socials to introduce them to different parts of town and surrounding communities. “If people come from out of town, they will be less likely to venture out. The purpose is for them to get to know Knoxville and East Tennessee,” Howard said. “We’re very fortunate this is a very welcoming community, and I know the patients will feel that.” Click Here to read this article in the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

More Thoughts About Provision Proton Center

Well, I've returned home from our vacation and would like to add to my thoughts of the Provision Center for Proton Therapy in Knoxville, TN. Set to open in the spring of 2014, the center is very impressive. Nancy Howard, Manager, Hospitality Services, organized a hard hat tour for my wife and myself, along with our daughter and son-in-law. It's obvious that the center will be very welcoming because of the use of a lot of natural light coming into the lobby area. Each patient will enjoy having their own restroom/changing room as they come to the center each day. These are located close to the treatment rooms so a patient doesn't have to walk very far. The center currently has two gantries as well as a fixed beam room. They also will be actually manufacturing the next generation of proton beam hardware that will bring the cost of treatment centers down. The world of proton therapy will begin to turn heads as the cost comes down and more facilities are able to be built. If you are ever in the Knoxville area, be sure to drive by and see this amazing center. Have a good Easter, Rick

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My Amazing Visit To Provision Center for Proton Therapy

Today I was pleased to be able to tour the Provision Center for Proton Therapy Center in Knoxville, TN. Set for a grand opening in the first quarter of 2014, it will offer the Knoxville area a noninvasive way to treat many kinds of cancer. You can check their work out at I will post more of my experience in a few days when I return to my home in Illinois.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Proton Centers Open or Under Construction

Following is a list of Proton Centers open now. Loma Linda Meical Center, Loma Linda, Ca. 1990 Mass. General in Boston 2001 IU Proton Center, in Bloomington, IN. 2004 University of Florida Proton Center, Jacksonville, Fl. 2006 MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. 2006 Procure Proton Center, Oklahoma City, OK. 2009 Hampton University, Hampton, Va. 2010 CDH Procure Center, Warrenville, IL. 2010 Roberts Proton Center, Philadelphia, PA. 2010 Procure Proton Center, Somerset, NJ. 2012 Proton Centers in Building Phase: MD Anderson Cancer Center, Orlando, Fl. Willis-Knighton Healthcare Center, Shreveport, La. Open 2013 Procure Proton Center, Seattle, Wa. Open Spring 2013 First Coast Oncology Center, Jacksonville, Fl. Open spring 2014 Provision Center for Proton Therapy, Knixville, TN. Open spring 2014 Mayo Clinic Proton Center, Rochester, MN. 2015 and Phoenix, AZ. 2016 McLaren Health Care, Flint, MI. I hope this information helps. Blessings, Rick

Friday, January 18, 2013

We have been enjoying new radio advertisement for CDH Proton Center in Warrenville, IL. I can only imagine the angst that some urologists may be feeling as they learn that people are being educated in ALL of the treatment options open to them. I have heard some urologists actually stating that Proton Beam Therapy is either experimental or just isn't being offered any longer. As people begin to investigate, what I believe is an attempt by some to cover up this amazing treatment that offers virtually no side effects, they may be upset. Time will tell as to how people will react when they finally learn that this treatment option has been open to them for decades, but just not told to them. You can find out more yourself at Blessings, Rick

Friday, August 3, 2012

Help From Another Prostate Cancer Blog

I receive several requests from a variety of people wanting me to include their information on my blog. Up to this point I have not done so, but I recently received a request from a gentleman who manages a blog which focuses on prostate health. After going to the site and looking around, I have determined that it could benefit some who look at my blog. Focusing primarily on Proton Beam Therapy for treating prostate cancer, I am aware that there are those who choose other options to treat and often times are confronted with side effects like incontinence and impotence. The chances of suffering from these side effects after treating with Proton Beam are remote, but for anyone checking out by blog who doesn't choose Proton Beam, this information may be helpful. You can find out information about supplements for BPH, a 30 second prostate health test, natural treatment for BPH, natural cancer killers, best drink for prostate health, controlling prostatitis with diet and lifestyle, plus many more topics. I would encourage you to go to and look for information which may help you with your own particular situtation. I wish you well on your search to find a treatment for prostate cancer. Blessings, Rick

Sunday, July 29, 2012

FDA Approves New Mevion S250 Proton Therapy System

The following has just been approved by the FDA. The lower cost will no doubt offer more access to hospitals interested in beginning a proton therapy center. The FDA has approved the Mevion S250 Proton Therapy System for use in the U.S. The system is much smaller than those currently in use, as it combines the elements of a superconducting synchrotron with a rotating gantry as one unit, thus saving millions in capital costs and space requirements according to the manufacturer. FDA clearance allows the Mevion System to begin treating patients when their first system is installed at the Kling Center for Proton Therapy at Barnes Jewish Hospital at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Mevion claims they will be delivering and installing more than a dozen S250 proton therapy systems worldwide within the next two years—in New Jersey, Oklahoma, Florida, and California. Blessings, Rick