A revolutionary new type of cancer treatment will soon be available in South Jersey. A $35 million state-of-the-art proton facility, which will debut in 2020, will be built on the campus of Virtua’s acute care hospital at Virtua Voorhees. Penn Medicine is building the facility in partnership with Virtua. The new proton therapy center – the first and only of its kind in South Jersey – will allow cancer patients to undergo proton therapy in single-room treatments.
Proton therapy goes above and beyond traditional radiation, which uses X-rays – a form of proton radiation. In traditional radiation, rays enter the body on one side and exit on the other side, potentially damaging healthy tissue in the process. With proton therapy, the beam is positively charged. It enters the body at a low dose of radiation, and the dosage increases as the beam hits the cancer cells it is targeting. After it has hit its target, the beam stops so that it can move through healthy tissue without damage, and then exits on the other side of the body. Cancer cells are attacked, while healthy tissue is spared.
Proton therapy shows great promise. It may be especially beneficial for certain types of cancer, such as head and neck, eye, brain, prostate, and lung cancer – including asbestos-related lung cancer, and mesothelioma. For mesothelioma patients whose pleural mesothelioma has not spread beyond the chest cavity, proton therapy may shrink tumors while avoiding healthy organs nearby, including the heart and lungs. Patients with asbestos-related lung cancer may also be good candidates for proton therapy. In fact, it may be safer and more effective for these patients than traditional therapy, and they will be less likely to develop serious side effects. Moreover, when proton therapy is paired with intensity-modulation technology, the beam is conformed to the tumor shape, and the therapy is even more precise.
Patients at the new Virtua facility will be able to get everything they need – from evaluation to treatment – including access to clinical trials involving proton therapy. Although the treatment planning phase will remain centered at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia, it can be done virtually. Patients will therefore have access to Penn’s expertise without having to travel over the bridge.
As a global leader in proton therapy, Penn Medicine has treated nearly 4,500 patients since its Roberts Proton Therapy Center opened in 2010. They have also trained more than 500 medical professionals from around the world. This highly sophisticated cancer treatment that will soon be available in South Jersey is the result of a strong partnership between Penn Medicine and Virtua. It could be life-changing for patients who will be able to remain close to home and family while receiving revolutionary care.
Proton therapy may represent a new and much better way of treating mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer. If you or someone you love is suffering with or has suffered from mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases, please call the South Jersey mesothelioma lawyers at Shein Law at 877-SHEINLAW (743-4652), or contact us online to speak to a dedicated asbestos lawyer. We will thoroughly review the facts of your case to determine who is at fault for your asbestos exposure, and fight to win you the care and financial compensation you deserve. Our offices are centrally located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey. We protect the rights of asbestos exposure victims throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.