MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida has welcomed the future of cancer care with the arrival today of its 220-ton proton therapy cyclotron.
As the cornerstone of the only proton therapy center in South Florida, the cyclotron’s arrival ensures that patients in the region and across Latin America and the Caribbean no longer will need to travel far from home to access the treatment. The technology will offer pencil beam scanning – the most precise form of proton radiation treatment. Proton therapy destroys cancer cells with highly-targeted doses of radiation while avoiding healthy tissue and minimizing side effects, making it particularly effective in treating childhood cancers and adult cancers of the brain, liver and lung, as well as certain left-sided breast cancers and prostate cancers. Proton therapy treatment will be available at Miami Cancer Institute beginning in 2017.
“The arrival of the cyclotron signifies the beginning of the most sophisticated cancer treatment technology in the history of our organization,” said Brian E. Keeley, president and CEO of Baptist Health South Florida. “This historic milestone is not just one for Baptist Health to celebrate, but one for our entire community as we come together in the fight against cancer.”
“This is the most cutting-edge proton therapy technology available,” said Minesh Mehta, M.D., deputy director of the Miami Cancer Institute and chief of radiation oncology. “It uses a pencil-beam approach, allowing us to target more complicated tumors and, for most situations, further decreases radiation exposure to normal tissues in comparison to older proton techniques. That means that there is significantly less damage to healthy tissue, a decrease in side effects and less chance of a recurrence of cancer due to radiation exposure.”
The cyclotron began its 4,700-mile transatlantic journey from Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, approximately two weeks ago. After arriving at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the cyclotron was loaded onto a flatbed truck operated by two drivers who made the overnight drive to Miami. By daylight, a 140-ton gantry crane began to lift the cyclotron into its permanent home at Miami Cancer Institute. The new $430 million, state-of-the-art facility situated on the campus of Baptist Hospital of Miami is scheduled to open in 2016.
“The moment the proton therapy unit arrives and becomes operational, the way we care for patients in South Florida will change,” said Michael J. Zinner, M.D., founding CEO & executive medical director of Miami Cancer Institute. “Miami Cancer Institute will be among the very few facilities worldwide to provide every available radiation therapy technology all in one location. Combined with our commitment to caring for patients from their diagnosis, through their complex treatment and onto survivorship, we ensure that we’re right alongside them and their families during this journey.”
In March 2015, Baptist Health South Florida signed an agreement with IBA, the world’s leading provider of proton therapy solutions for the treatment of cancer.
“We are very pleased that Miami Cancer Institute selected IBA as their partner to bring the most advanced proton therapy to their patients in South Florida as well as the Latin America region,” said Beth Klein, president of IBA PT North America. “Our 30-plus years of experience elicits confidence in our ability to support the swift construction and installation of this equipment, which means providing faster access to the technology for their patients.”
To learn more about proton therapy at Miami Cancer Institute, click here.
About Miami Cancer Institute
Baptist Health South Florida is developing Miami Cancer Institute into a destination cancer center known for its leading clinical care, exceptional patient experience, advanced clinical research and state-of-the-art technology – including the first proton therapy center in South Florida, Latin America and the Caribbean. To accelerate its mission of hope, caring and innovation, Miami Cancer Institute has announced plans to join the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance, a dynamic partnership that will ultimately enable cancer patients to access potential breakthrough therapies in South Florida. For more information, visit MiamiCancerInstitute.com.
Miami Cancer Institute is part of Baptist Health South Florida, the largest healthcare organization in the region, with seven hospitals (Baptist Hospital, Baptist Children’s Hospital, Doctors Hospital, Homestead Hospital, Mariners Hospital, South Miami Hospital and West Kendall Baptist Hospital), nearly 50 outpatient and urgent care facilities, Baptist Health Medical Group, Baptist Health Quality Network and internationally renowned centers of excellence. The not-for-profit, faith-based Baptist Health has approximately 16,000 employees and 2,300 affiliated physicians. Baptist Health South Florida has been recognized as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America and as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. For more information, visit BaptistHealth.net and connect with us on Facebook at facebook.com/BaptistHealthSF and on Twitter and Instagram @BaptistHealthSF.
About Proton Therapy
Proton Therapy is a highly precise, targeted cancer radiotherapy treatment. Compared to photons, protons deposit the majority of their effective energy within a precisely controlled range, directly within the tumor, sparing healthy surrounding tissue. This technique offers cancer centers the opportunity to develop new protocols delivering higher doses to the tumor aiming at improved outcome for equal risk of side-effects, or keeping the same dose but targeting improved patient’s quality of life. Today, more than half of all proton therapy clinical facilities worldwide are equipped with IBA systems. This includes 20 proton therapy centers currently in operation and 18 additional centers under development. While proton therapy today represents less than 1 percent of radiotherapy treatments, studies estimate that more than 20 percent of patients treated by radiotherapy would benefit from being treated by this technique.
IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A.) is a global medical technology company focused on bringing integrated and innovative solutions for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The company is the worldwide technology leader in the field of proton therapy, the most advanced form of radiation therapy available today. IBA’s proton therapy solutions are flexible and adaptable, allowing customers to choose from universal full-scale proton therapy centers as well as compact, single room systems. In addition, IBA also has a radiation dosimetry business and develops particle accelerators for the medical world and industry.
Headquartered in Belgium and employing about 1,200 people worldwide, IBA has installed systems across the world, from Europe and the United States to emerging markets. IBA is listed on the pan-European stock exchange EURONEXT. (IBA: Reuters IBAB.BR and Bloomberg IBAB.BB). More information can be found at: www.iba-worldwide.com