Lancaster Physician Spring 2020 - 9

SPRING 2020

P

enn Medicine Lancaster General
Health's Ann B. Barshinger Cancer
Institute will offer an innovative
radiation therapy to local patients
beginning in fall 2021.
Construction is currently under way to
add proton therapy to the Cancer Institute's
broad array of services, which include
technology and treatments typically offered
only at urban centers. The state-of-the-art
proton therapy center will be the first and
only one of its kind in Central Pennsylvania.
Proton therapy will be provided in a nearly 8,000-square-foot, four-story building
adjacent to the Cancer Institute, located
at 2102 Harrisburg Pike, Lancaster. The
expansion project represents a $48 million
investment in innovative and essential
patient care for Lancaster County and
surrounding communities.
Lancaster General Health is part of Penn
Medicine, a global leader in proton therapy.
Proton therapy, an alternative to traditional
radiation, enables treatment of tumors close
to critical organs with less impact to normal
tissue. It significantly improves the quality
of life for cancer patients.
Medical Director Randall A. Oyer, MD,
said proton therapy will complement the
Cancer Institute's existing array of leading-edge prevention, detection and treatment
services, as well as survivorship programs.
The new service also will minimize the need
for patients to travel outside of Lancaster
County for advanced treatment.
"The Cancer Institute takes a deliberate,
strategic approach to future services, considering the benefit to our community,"
he said. "The addition of proton therapy
will benefit patients who currently can
only receive this treatment at a handful
of specialized centers across the country."
The expansion also will enable the Cancer Institute to continue enhancement of
personalized medicine services. In this
approach, physicians tailor precision
therapy or treatment protocols based on
a patient's molecular profile, minimizing

harmful side effects and achieving a more
successful outcome.
In addition, it will broaden the availability of general research and clinical trials.
These expanded opportunities will allow
more patients to try new treatments that
could potentially improve their condition
as they take part in vital research that can
benefit future patients.
The Cancer Institute opened in 2013,
with a vision to provide comprehensive,
cutting-edge, and compassionate cancer
care close to home for patients in the Lancaster County community. The expansion
project represents the next step in pursuit
of that vision.

PROTON THERAPY
IS PERHAPS THE
MOST ADVANCED
TREATMENT FOR
CANCER TUMORS
LOCATED CLOSE
TO CRITICAL
ORGANS AND
HIGHLY SENSITIVE
AREAS
"Our patients benefit from the collaborative efforts of experts here at the
Cancer Institute and at Penn Medicine's
Abramson Cancer Center-a leader in
research, patient care, and education," said
Jan Bergen, President & CEO, LG Health.
"Our partnership enables LG Health to
offer the most innovative and advanced
oncology therapies, technologies, and
clinical breakthroughs to our community."
At the Roberts Proton Therapy Center
in Philadelphia, Penn Medicine radiation

LANCASTER

9

PHYSICIAN

oncologists have treated more than 6,000
patients since 2010. The team also conducts
ongoing clinical trials and trains medical
professionals from around the world in
administering proton therapy.
Proton therapy has a few key differences
from traditional radiation, in which X-rays
pass through the body, touching more than
just cancer cells and potentially damaging
healthy tissue along the way.
In contrast, during proton therapy, a
proton beam enters the body at a low dose
of radiation, which increases when it hits the
targeted cancer. The beam then stops, preventing radiation from impacting healthy
tissue, while maximizing the chances of
attacking cancer cells.
Proton therapy is perhaps the most
advanced treatment for cancer tumors
located close to critical organs and highly
sensitive areas, such as the spinal cord,
heart, and brain. It is also an important
treatment option for cancers that cannot
be completely removed by surgery.
Cancer types that may benefit from proton therapy include brain cancer and spinal
tumors, breast cancer, head and neck cancer,
gastrointestinal cancer, gynecologic, kidney
cancer, lung cancer, lymphoma, mesothelioma, oropharyngeal cancer, pediatric cancer
(in conjunction with the Children's Hospital
of Philadelphia), and prostate cancer.
A recent study at the Perelman School of
Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
found that proton therapy can decrease side
effects serious enough for patients to be
hospitalized, without sacrificing treatment
effectiveness. In the study, proton therapy
reduced the risk of serious side effects by
two-thirds, with an identical cure rate when
compared to traditional radiation.



Lancaster Physician Spring 2020

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