WK Proton Therapy Center Celebrates Treatment of 1,000th Patient

Apr 01, 2022

WK Proton Therapy Center, located in Willis-Knighton Cancer Center, has completed treatment of its 1,000th patient using the most advanced radiation therapy available for cancer patients. Michael Phipps from Fouke, Arkansas, underwent his last treatment for prostate cancer on Friday, April 1.

This milestone is a special day for Louisiana’s only proton therapy center, which offers this highly effective alternative to conventional radiation treatment. With a 40-year history of treatment in the United States, proton therapy is neither experimental nor investigational, according to Lane Rosen, MD, the center’s director of radiation oncology. The center now draws patients from throughout the South.  

“Patients in Shreveport-Bossier and Northwest Louisiana have access to world-class care and technology not available in many cancer centers throughout North America,” Dr. Rosen said. “Willis-Knighton is the only center in Louisiana with the experience, administrative support and physics expertise that would allow proton therapy.”

Compared to conventional X-ray radiation, protons stop inside a tumor and do not continue to travel through the body. Healthy tissue receives much less, often no radiation dose, which is particularly important for tumors close to the brain, spine, lung, and prostate. 

The center has treated cancer affecting numerous body sites, including brain, prostate, lung, head, neck, and breast as well as gynecological, GI and pediatric cancers.

Willis-Knighton brought this advanced technology to Shreveport in 2014, becoming the 15 th cancer center in the U.S. to offer proton therapy treatment. This specialized cancer care was previously available only in large academic medical environments.