UAB Proton Therapy Center construction to start in early 2018
Dec. 13, 2017
Media contact: Kristen Chandler
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The University of Alabama at Birmingham and Proton International have secured funding for the UAB Proton Therapy Center, a significant step toward beginning construction. The facility will be the first proton therapy center in the state of Alabama. With the financial closing complete, UAB and Proton International expect to break ground in January 2018 and open the facility in approximately two years.
The UAB Proton Therapy Center will be an important addition to existing cancer therapies at UAB and the Comprehensive Cancer Center. The center will be a two-story 29,000-square-foot facility equipped with the Varian Probeam proton technology.
Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation treatment available at only 25 locations in the United States. It is conservatively estimated that some 250,000 cancer patients in the United States alone could benefit from the therapy, which uses highly precise proton beams instead of traditional X-rays to attack tumors.
Proton therapy is used to treat tumors of the brain and central nervous system, spine, head and neck, lung, prostate, liver, and gastrointestinal tract and colon, and some breast tumors. While it treats primarily localized tumors, it can, in some cases, be used for treating cancer that has spread, or metastasized, to surrounding tissue because of its focused dose capabilities.
Proton therapy is widely used to treat children, who are particularly sensitive to the effects of radiation therapy. Because of its precision in targeting tumors, proton therapy greatly reduces damage to nearby healthy tissue, which is the cause of most short- and long-term side effects, including cancer recurrence later in life.
“The UAB Proton Therapy Center will bring one of the most advanced cancer-fighting therapies to thousands of cancer patients throughout Alabama and the Southeast,” said James A. Bonner, M.D., the Merle M. Salter Endowed Professor and chair of the UAB Department of Radiation Oncology. “It is exciting to know that we have achieved another milestone in the development of this center, and we are thrilled that we can begin construction just a few weeks from now in the beginning of the new year.”
“Proton International is pleased to be working with the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Department of Radiation Oncology, one of the premier oncology programs in the country,” said Chris Chandler, CEO of Proton International. “The department has a long and rich history of contributing to the science of radiation therapy and the adoption of clinically relevant technology.”
Proton International is currently participating in the development of several centers in the United States and abroad. PI’s turnkey development model significantly lowers project risk and provides access to long-term funding.
Known for its innovative and interdisciplinary approach to education at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, the University of Alabama at Birmingham is the state of Alabama’s largest employer and an internationally renowned research university and academic medical center; its professional schools and specialty patient-care programs are consistently ranked among the nation’s top 50. Find more information at www.uab.edu and www.uabmedicine.org.
About Proton International
Proton International, www.protonintl.com, has an experienced team dedicated to bringing proton therapy to patients. The company works with hospitals and physician groups to develop one- and two-room proton therapy facilities on a turnkey basis. The PI team has developed and operated multiple centers and is currently active on several projects.
Proton International recently completed its services at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, where the center is currently treating patients. The company has additional centers under design and construction with the University Medical Center in Groningen, The Netherlands; The South Florida Proton Therapy Institute with Delray Medical Center in Delray Beach, Florida; the University of Alabama Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama; University Hospital, Halle (Saale), Germany; and the University College of London, London, England. PI’s business model ensures that projects are completed on time, on budget, and within the scope and needs of the institution. Services include business planning, organizational structure, financing, building design and construction, installation and commissioning, equipment, staff training, and more.