Butler County is now home to the latest technology to fight some of the most daunting forms of cancer.
Located at Cincinnati Children’s Liberty Campus, the $120 million Proton Therapy Center is one of the most advanced proton research and cancer treatment centers in the world, officials said during a tour Monday of the facility.
Scheduled to treat its first patients in September, the new facility is significant to not just Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and UC Health, which partnered to make it a reality, but to the region as a whole, officials said.
The 80,000-square-foot center, which took nearly a decade of planning and three years of construction, will transform cancer care for children and adults and generate “a new wave of discovery,” said Michael Fisher, president and CEO at Cincinnati Children’s.
“This Proton Therapy Center is a community resource,” Fisher said. “When the people in this area (and) the broader region are looking for the most technologically sophisticated cancer therapies, this incredible facility and this extraordinary team will be there for them.”
The types of cancer best treated by proton therapy include Hodgkin lymphoma, pediatric brain tumors, neuroblastoma, and soft tissue sarcomas. In the adult population, the targeted treatment is specifically helpful in cancers of the brain, eyes, head, neck, lungs, prostate and spinal cord.
Proton therapy is a form of radiation treatment used for certain types of cancers. The medical procedure involves using a beam of protons to blast diseased tissue with unprecedented precision.
“This facility will change the way many of our patients are treated for cancer today, and through dedicated research right here in Cincinnati, help to develop the standard of care for all patients in the future,” said Carrie Hayden, a two-time cancer survivor and co-chair of the Campaign for National Cancer Institute Designation.
The Proton Therapy Center features treatment options for both adult and pediatric patients..
The center also will have space dedicated exclusively to research and development.
“That means we’ll be able to continue here, in Cincinnati, finding the answer to cancer,” Hayden said. “This is a game changer for cancer in Cincinnati and much beyond Cincinnati.”
In addition to the $120 million investment in the facility, there’s also approximately $24 million being invested into research, according to Dr. John Perentesis, chief of oncology at Cincinnati Children’s and co-executive director at Cincinnati Children’s Cancer & Blood Diseases Institute.
Previously, the nearest proton therapy center was on the East Coast. Such centers are sparse nationwide because they are so costly to build, according to Dr. John Breneman, medical director of the new Proton Therapy Center.
“At this point in time, there’s about 18 of these in the country, so we expect that we will probably see and treat patients not only from the Cincinnati region but really the Tri-State region and beyond,” Breneman said. “In fact, there are international patients that we expect to see here on a regular basis.”