Newswise — SEATTLE, WA – Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Proton Therapy, A ProCure Center, has named Dr. Ramesh Rengan as the center’s new medical director. In this role, Dr. Rengan will provide guidance and leadership while overseeing all cancer programs, research, projects and activities within the proton therapy center. He is a board-certified radiation oncologist who specializes in radiation treatment for lung cancer and melanoma patients at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Dr. Rengan will be working closely with Dr. Laramore, the center’s previous director and former chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Washington, as he assumes his new role focused on patient care and research. Dr. Laramore will continue treating at the center. In addition to serving as medical director, Dr. Rengan is also an associate professor for the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, a radiation oncologist at the University of Washington Medical Center, and an associate member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
“We thank Dr. Laramore for his boundless work in taking the center from concept to completion,” stated Annika Andrews, president of SCCA Proton Therapy, A ProCure Center. “This month marked an important milestone for our center as we treated our 100th patient. We look forward to continuing our care for cancer patients across the Pacific Northwest and look forward to advancing the use of proton therapy through research.”
Before joining SCCA in 2013, Dr. Rengan was previously the Chief of Thoracic Service and Assistant Director of Clinical Operations for the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania, working in the Roberts Proton Therapy Center. He completed his residency in radiation oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and earned his medical degree (MD) and doctorate (PhD) from University of Michigan Medical School and Rackham School of Graduate Studies in biological chemistry.
Dr. Rengan practices a “patients come first” philosophy which he uses to guide the development of clinical and translational (bench-to-bedside) initiatives designed to improve clinical outcomes in lung cancer and melanoma patients. His research interests also include understanding the biology of lung cancer tumors in order to make radiation treatment more effective. Dr. Rengan is also very interested with investigating proton beam radiotherapy as a tool to optimize the treatment of a number of solid tumors.
“I believe that we have seen an explosion in our understanding of the biology of cancer itself over the past decade,” said Dr. Rengan, medical director of SCCA Proton Therapy, A ProCure Center. “As a field, we are moving away from ‘one-size fits all’ treatments to personalized medicine whereby each treatment is individualized to the biology of the tumor and ideally the patient, as found in proton therapy. These recent advancements inspire me and I hope that in my lifetime, we’ll see this approach integrated across all solid tumors, including lung cancer and melanoma.”
Proton therapy is an advanced and highly precise form of radiation treatment that allows doctors to focus radiation directly into the tumor, reducing radiation to healthy tissue and the risk of side effects. With one of the biggest concerns about treating lung cancer being how to radiate the tumor without unduly impacting the surrounding area, proton therapy is proving to be an excellent treatment modality. Protons allow doctors to focus radiation directly into the tumor, while delivering less radiation to the spinal cord, heart and healthy lung tissue, reducing the risk of side effects. Currently available at only 13 centers in the United States, studies have shown proton therapy to be beneficial in treating a broad range of tumors, including those of the brain, central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, head and neck, breast, lung, and prostate, as well as sarcomas and certain pediatric cancers.
About Seattle Cancer Care AllianceSeattle Cancer Care Alliance is a cancer treatment center that unites doctors from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s. Our goal, every day, is to turn cancer patients into cancer survivors. Our purpose is to lead the world in the prevention and treatment of cancer. SCCA has five clinical care sites: an outpatient clinic on the Hutchinson Center campus, a pediatric inpatient unit at Seattle Children’s, an adult inpatient unit at UW Medical Center, a medical oncology clinic at EvergreenHealth, and medical and radiation oncology clinics at UW Medicine / Northwest Hospital & Medical Center. Additionally, proton therapy services are provided at SCCA Proton Therapy, A Procure Center. For more information about SCCA, visit www.seattlecca.org.
About ProCure Treatment Centers, Inc.ProCure Treatment Centers, Inc. is a privately held health care company dedicated to improving the lives of patients with cancer by increasing access to proton therapy. The company was founded in 2005 in Bloomington, Ind., and is the first to develop a network of proton therapy centers in cities across the United States. The ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Oklahoma City opened in July 2009, ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Somerset, N.J., opened in March 2012, and SCCA Proton Therapy, A ProCure Center opened in March 2013. ProCure provides management leadership and a comprehensive approach for the design, construction, financing, staffing, training and day-to-day operations of proton therapy centers. ProCure’s solution reduces the time, cost and effort necessary to build and operate a facility. ProCure is advancing proton therapy through innovation and improvements in technology, and by providing training at the world’s only educational facility specializing in proton therapy. For more information, visit www.procure.com/seattle.