New Arizona research may aid proton therapy precision

New Arizona research may aid proton therapy precision

Thomas Dworetzky, Contributing Reporter | April 18, 2017
Rad Oncology Proton Therapy

“We have voluntarily said, ‘We are going to completely take the cost argument off the table. It is going to be the same cost for the insurance company and for the patient, in terms of his or her copay, whether they get X-ray therapy or whether they get proton therapy. So anybody who says we are doing it for the money, that completely takes the wind out of the sails.”

The facility's officials estimate that 1,200 patients will eventually be treated annually there, according to The Star.


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Beyond cost consideration, the new center makes it more convenient to receive this cutting edge treatment for patients in Arizona.

"While it is important for patients to explore all available treatment options with their physician, to determine what approach is best for their unique condition, we are fortunate that patients no longer have to travel out of state to access this remarkable technology, which provides targeted treatment to cancer cells while minimizing damage to healthy tissue,” Tucson Medical Center's chief medical officer, Dr. Rick Anderson, told the paper.

"The whole idea started because Mayo Clinic decided to build a proton therapy clinic in Phoenix, and there are only a few in the country,” Alarcon said.

Alarcan stated that Holmes’ progress on his research has been impressive.

"It's a really unique position for the student to be in ... thinking of the problem, building the apparatus that is going to solve that problem, and then going and doing the experiments,” Alarcon said. “And that's what he's doing."

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