Willis-Knighton Cancer Center, Louisiana’s Only Proton Therapy Center, Marks 5-Year Anniversary

Sep 17, 2019

Willis-Knighton Cancer Center, Louisiana’s only proton therapy center and the 15th in the United States, has reached a milestone - five years of delivering proton therapy to cancer patients. The center began using proton therapy on Sept. 9, 2014, becoming the first community hospital in the world with proton therapy and the first in the world to offer compact Intensity Modulated Proton Therapy (IMPT).

In comparison, New York City’s renowned Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center began using proton therapy this month.

Proton therapy is a high-tech alternative to X-ray radiation. Unlike traditional radiation, protons stop inside the tumor and do not continue to travel through the body. Healthy tissue receives much less, often no radiation dose.  “This can be particularly important for tumors close to important body structures such as the brain, spine, lung and prostate,” says Lane Rosen, MD, medical director for radiation oncology and the proton therapy center.

Over the past five years, Willis-Knighton Cancer Center’s Proton Therapy Center has treated nearly 700 patients from throughout the southcentral and southeastern United States; the IMPT technology has allowed 22 different types of cancer to have been treated; and it has hosted the largest proton therapy users meeting (IBA) with delegates from 17 countries.