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Proton International

Our Qualifications

The Proton International team has collectively been involved with the development of more proton centers than any staff in the business. Our services includes design, construction, equipment installation, commissioning, training, clinical protocols, ongoing equipment service and maintenance and operational support.

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Services Offered

We specialize in one & two room centers

  • Business Planning and Feasibility
  • Financing
  • Organizational Structure
  • Building Design & Construction
  • Installation
  • Commissioning & Training

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Proton International

Making Protons Accessible

Access to Proton Therapy is complicated by the restricted number of centers, the timing issues of cancer as a demanding disease, and the costs. PI has addressed these by starting a Proton Access Program to provide patients and physicians with the tools to make this treatment available.

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What is proton therapy?


Proton therapy is a form of radiation therapy that destroys cancer cells by preventing them from dividing and growing - the same as with standard X-ray radiation. Proton therapy uses protons - heavy, positively charged atomic particles - instead of the photons used in standard X-ray radiation therapy.

 

Protons can be precisely conformed to release most of their energy directly in the tumor, greatly reducing damage to nearby healthy tissue. As a result, patients often can receive higher, more effective doses and generally have far fewer side effects from treatment.


How do proton beams destroy cancer cells?


When protons reach the nucleus (or center) of cancer cells, they transfer energy to the cells' electrons causing a series of interactions, or ionizing events, that damage the DNA of the cancer cells. The damaged cells are permanently injured, can no longer divide, and die.


When was proton therapy first used for medical purposes?


Proton therapy was first used to treat patients in Berkeley, California, in 1955 in a research setting. While promising, it wasn't until advances in imaging technology, such as CT, MRI and PET scans, allowed doctors to accurately "see" the location, size and shape of cancer tumors. Accurately locating tumors made it possible to leverage the precision of protons. The first U.S. center opened at Loma Linda University Medical Center in 1990. More than 20 centers have opened in the past 20 years, and by 2008, there were 29 centers worldwide.


How many patients have received proton therapy?


Since the first hospital-based proton treatment center opened in California in 1990, nearly 30,000 people have received proton therapy in the United States, and more than 60,000 people worldwide. Experts conservatively estimate that about 250,000 cancer patients in the U.S. could benefit from proton therapy.


WHAT KINDS OF STUDIES HAVE BEEN/ARE BEING DOWN TO PROVE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF PROTON THERAPY?


The effectiveness of proton therapy has been studied by researchers around the world. There is a growing number of studies that report on the effectiveness of proton therapy and its benefits compared to alternative treatments. The amount of research being conducted on proton therapy is rapidly increasing as more centers open and more patient experiences become available.


WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS OF PROTON THERAPY?


Patients should not feel pain or discomfort during treatment sessions. There may be side effects during or after treatment, but they are generally minor, less frequent and less severe than the side effects that can result from standard X-ray radiation therapy, primarily because less healthy tissue is exposed to radiation in proton therapy. Potential side effects may include skin reactions in the direct path of the proton radiation, fatigue and temporary hair loss. Depending on the tumor site treated, different side effects may be experienced. Your doctor will discuss with you the specific side effects that you may experience based on your treatment plan.

How does Proton Therapy Work?


Protons can be manipulated to release their energy at precise depths so they can target tumors near the skin surface or deep inside the body, depositing most of their radiation exactly at the tumor site. The peak of this proton radiation dose (called the bragg peak) is set so it releases the radiation when it hits the tumor; immediately after that point, the radiation dose falls to almost zero. Less radiation reaches the healthy tissue in front of the tumor, and almost none reaches the healthy tissue behind the tumor, resulting in much less damage to healthy tissue. Patients often experience fewer short-term and long-term side effects that typically accompany standard X-ray radiation. In addition, because more radiation can be deposited directly in the tumor, a higher dose often can be delivered, leading to more effective treatment.


What is the history of proton therapy?


In 1946, physicist Robert Wilson first proposed that protons could be used to deliver an increased dose of radiation to a tumor while simultaneously decreasing the exposure of surrounding healthy tissue to radiation.

 

By 1950, the first research trials were being conducted on patients in Europe. Results were promising, but the inability of imaging technology to accurately "see" or locate many tumors, as well as the inability to direct protons to sites deep within the body, meant that only a few patients were appropriate candidates for the treatment.

 

Advances in imaging, including computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET), now allow physicians to "see" deep inside the body and precisely define the location, size and shape of tumors. This capability, coupled with improvements in proton technology, brought about today's growing interest in proton therapy as an important treatment option for cancer.

 

The first hospital-based proton treatment center in the United States was built in 1990 at Loma Linda University Medical Center (LLUMC) in Loma Linda, California. As of February 2010, seven facilities were operating in the United States: ProCure Proton Therapy Center, Oklahoma; Francis H. Burr Proton Therapy Center at Massachusetts General Hospital; the Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute at Indiana University; the Proton Therapy Center at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Treatment Center; The Roberts Proton Therapy Center at the University of Pennsylvania; the Florida Proton Therapy Institute at the University of Florida Shands Medical Center; and LLUMC. In addition, there is a specialty proton center that treats only cancers of the eye at the University of California, Davis.


CAN PROTON THERAPY BE USED IN COMBINATION WITH OTHER CANCER TREATMENTS?


In many cases, yes. Proton therapy can be used in combination with chemotherapy, as a follow-up treatment to surgery and in combination with standard X-ray radiation treatment.

Experienced Team

handshake squareTurnkey offering from a team that has collectively been involved with the development of more proton centers than any team in the business.

Our services includes design, construction, equipment installation, commissioning, training, clinical protocols, ongoing equipment service and maintenance and operational support.

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