Cancer patients in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region have access to proton radiation therapy, now available at the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital Proton Therapy Center.
MedStar Georgetown is the first and only proton center in the world to offer Mevion Medical Systems’ Mevion S250i with HYPERSCAN technology, producing beams that are sharper than previous proton systems. Proton therapy with HYPERSCAN is also faster than other proton systems, benefiting patients whose treatment includes holding their breath.
“I am extremely excited to be able to offer this latest advancement, proton therapy, to my patients,” says Brian Collins, MD, a radiation oncologist and clinical director of the new proton therapy center. “It’s clear that this treatment will help to improve the clinical outcomes for our cancer patients and decrease their side effects when radiation is needed.”
Martha Ramos, 53, of Maryland, became MedStar Georgetown’s first patient to receive proton therapy. Ramos is being treated for recurrence of a brain tumor.
“It’s encouraging to know that this kind of radiation will result in less damage to the healthy area of my brain,” says Ramos.
Proton therapy is more precise and targeted than conventional radiation. It works by using pencil beam scanning, similar to a 3D printer, to match the tumor’s exact shape and size with superior accuracy that eliminates the exit dose of traditional radiation, and spares healthy tissue.
“In certain cases, proton therapy can be a game changer,” says Keith Unger, MD, radiation oncologist at MedStar Georgetown. “It allows us to treat cancers where traditional radiation might not even be possible.”