As first reported at www.procure.com |March 21, 2017
SOMERSET, N.J. (March 21, 2017) – Yesterday, ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Somerset, N.J., celebrated its five-year anniversary. As the first proton treatment center in the tri-state area and the 10th facility in the nation, ProCure is proud to have connected cancer patients and their families, from New Jersey and across the globe, with this life-changing treatment.
Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation that destroys cancer cells by preventing them from dividing and growing. Unlike standard X-ray radiation, it uses protons – positively charged sub-atomic particles – which precisely target tumors. Proton therapy reduces the risk of damage to healthy tissue and organs near the tumor, and potentially allows patients to receive higher, more effective doses of radiation, but with fewer side effects.
Much to celebrate, and to honor
The anniversary converges with another important ProCure milestone: two weeks ago, the Center graduated its 2,500th patient. To celebrate, new and past graduates, alongside friends, family and ProCure staff, gathered together at the Center for a special graduation ceremony that honored the patient journey and the fight against cancer. The afternoon was rife with inspiring speeches, positive energy and a steadfast sense of community; it was a quintessential ProCure event.
Former ProCure patient Bob Jones is no stranger to these special ProCure moments. Five years ago, he entered the Center seeking treatment for prostate cancer, and was ultimately deemed cancer-free after 44 sessions and countless friendships formed. Bob was the 10th patient to graduate from ProCure, and has been an active member of the Patient Ambassador program since – attending graduations most weeks, sharing his story with others and lending advice to men facing prostate cancer.
“My experiences here in the span of five years – both as a patient and a friend of the Center – have been exceptional. The team here is kind, generous and compassionate, and I’m fortunate to be able to pay it forward through my role as an Ambassador,” Bob reflects. “It’s hard to explain the magic of this place to those unfamiliar – but it’s real, and it’s genuine, and patients are lucky enough to experience it while fighting cancer.”
Victor Lawson, another patient from the first class of 2012 graduates, also treated for prostate cancer, echoes many of Bob’s sentiments: “For me, ProCure played a critical role in my cancer treatment journey. In addition to offering me such great care five years ago, every time I return I’m greeted with the same welcoming atmosphere as when I first walked through the front doors on day one. The connections I’ve made here, both with staff and other patients, will remain my most fond memories of ProCure.”
ProCure’s first-ever patient graduate, Frank Mackinson, who was treated for a plasmacytoma of the skull base, adds, “They raise the bar tremendously as far as care and personalization goes. Since I’ve completed treatment at ProCure, it has been a joy to return to this pleasant facility and supportive community.”
Best-in-class treatment and services
ProCure New Jersey is the only proton therapy center in the metro NY/NJ area equipped with pencil beam scanning (PBS) – the most advanced proton therapy technology available today. The technique moves a proton beam of pencil-point sharpness back and forth across each layer of a tumor’s thickness and paints the tumor with radiation in three dimensions, rendering it ultra-precise and ideal for tumors located next to critical organs, such as those in the prostate, lungs, brain, head and neck, among others. PBS is also effective for pediatric cancers, where sparing healthy tissue is especially important for healthy development. ProCure’s PBS technology expands the center’s ability to treat difficult and complicated tumors, and is reflective of its commitment to continually advance cancer treatment options.
Over the past five years, ProCure has also worked closely with patients and their families to create tailor-made treatment plans that address each patient’s unique needs. The range of support available to patients extends from traditional care and pushing technological boundaries to insurance and financial counselors, a special pediatric playroom for patients and children of patients, and a concierge program to address personal needs like local accommodations.
“In the five years that ProCure’s been around, what’s struck me the most – in addition to our scientific capabilities – was how we’ve elevated patient needs and comfort as paramount values,” states Brian Chon, MD, treating oncologist and Medical Director of the Center. “The team goes above and beyond to make each person who walks through our doors feel like an individual — not just a cancer patient, not just an anonymous case file. It’s simply in the fabric of our culture.”
Dr. Chon continues, “We’re proud to have brought the unique properties of proton therapy to a diverse group of tumor types and cancer patients over these last five years. We will use this milestone to reflect on where we’ve been, how far we’ve come, and how we will work tirelessly to help our patients and the cancer community in the future.”