3 health facilities to open 1st proton therapy center in New York: 7 things to know

Three New York City healthcare organizations have formed a for-profit partnership to open a proton therapy center in June, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Seven things to know:

1. The partnership — which involves Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Montefiore Health System and Mount Sinai Health System — will open the New York Proton Center, the first in the state. Thus far, patients in New York have been referred to proton therapy facilities in New Jersey for treatment.

2. The center will be managed by the Lake Success, N.Y.-based ProHEALTH company.

3. The center was initially estimated to cost $300 million and open to patients in 2018. However, its opening was delayed and its cost will likely rise to $330 million by July, Dr. Simone told the Journal.

4. The center will feature four treat rooms and will have a capacity of 1,400 patients per year, which includes 200 pediatric patients. Patients will also have support of in-house social workers and nutritionists

5. Proton therapy is a type of radiation therapy that uses energy from protons, which are positively charged particles, to treat cancer and benign tumors, according to Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic.

6. Proton therapy can be aimed with more precision that standard therapy, allowing oncologists to avoid damaging the heathy tissue surrounding the tumor, Charles Simone, CMO of the center, told the Journal.

7. However, some researchers note that it is more expensive than radiation therapy and its benefit in the long term is not certain, particularly among pediatric patients.

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