LITTLE ROCK - The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), Arkansas Children's, Baptist Health and Proton International (PI) have signed a Letter of Intent to bring proton therapy -- an alternative to radiation therapy for treating cancer -- to Arkansas.
The proton treatment center will be the first in Arkansas and one of only about 40 in the country. It will be located at the UAMS Radiation Oncology Center.
Proton therapy precisely targets tumors, sparing the surrounding healthy tissues.
The Proton Treatment Center will bring cutting-edge therapy to patients and will be the basis of many new and novel clinical trials that will benefit patients and clearly move the cancer research field forward according to Michael Birrer, M.D., Ph.D., director of the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute.
Proton therapy is particularly effective in treating solid cancer tumors, including tumors of the brain, spine, head and neck, lung, prostate, colon, and some breast tumors. It is widely used to treat children with cancer, as children are particularly sensitive to the effects of radiation therapy.
Every new center will increase the number of proton treatment facilities enrolling patients in national data registries and in clinical research trials to document clinical outcomes and enhance the benefits from an appropriate use of the therapy.
The agreement is pending approval by the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees and the boards of Arkansas Children's and Baptist Health.