Region’s First Proton Therapy Center Celebrates Second Year in Seattle

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Proton Therapy, A ProCure Center provides cancer patients with advanced treatment that minimizes radiation to healthy tissue


Newswise — SEATTLE, WA – This week Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Proton Therapy, A ProCure Center will celebrate its second year of treating patients in Seattle, Washington. A collaborative effort between Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) and ProCure Treatment Centers, Inc. SCCA Proton Therapy unites top physician experts in cancer from UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s Hospital. Since opening, the center has helped care for nearly 450 patients and created approximately 80 jobs in the Pacific Northwest. Located on UW Medicine’s Northwest Hospital & Medical Center campus, SCCA Proton Therapy is the only proton therapy center within 1,000 miles of Seattle.

To commemorate the center’s anniversary, patients, survivors, physicians, and local community leaders will gather on Thursday, March 26, for an open house from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., which will include a tour of the facility’s cyclotron, the core piece of equipment used to create protons.

Proton therapy is an advanced and highly precise form of radiation treatment. It allows doctors to focus radiation directly into the tumor while minimizing damage to surrounding tissue. Currently available at only 15 centers in the United States, studies have shown proton therapy to be superior in treating a broad range of tumors, including those of the brain, central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, head and neck, left breast, lung, and prostate, as well as sarcomas and certain childhood cancers.

“Bringing proton therapy to the Pacific Northwest was the first step to providing individuals with access to the best cancer care possible,” said Annika Andrews, president of SCCA Proton Therapy, A ProCure Center. “While we stand in awe of those we’ve been honored to help, our work is not complete until all individuals who are in need of proton therapy have the financial support to do so through their insurance plans.”

One of the nearly 450 patients helped by SCCA Proton Therapy is Robin Baird. Robin was first diagnosed with stage-two breast cancer in 2001. After successfully treating her tumor with surgery, chemo and X–ray radiation, she thought her journey with cancer was complete. However in 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2011 the cancer returned. Because of the precision of proton therapy, Robin and her doctors felt confident that the treatment could help her by targeting the tumor without damaging the rest of her organs.

“When I met Robin for the first time, we did discuss that she had a high risk for experiencing significant complications due to the cumulative effects of her prior treatments on the organs in close proximity to her cancer,” said, Dr. Rengan, Medical Director at SCCA Proton Therapy, A ProCure Center, Associate Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Washington School of Medicine, and Radiation Oncologist, University of Washington Medical Center. “Through weighing both the risks and potential benefits Robin and I agreed that proton therapy would be her best route for treatment and could help by targeting the tumor while minimizing the dose to the surrounding tissues.”

While undergoing treatment, Robin found refuge at SCCA Proton Therapy. “The center is a sanctuary,” Robin recalls. “Everyone on staff is an incredible person, and I was really happy there.”

Robin is doing well today and has become a patient advocate since leaving the center. For more information about proton therapy, visit www.SCCAprotontherapy.com or follow SCCA Proton Therapy on Twitter @SCCAProtons and Facebook.

About Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Proton Therapy, A ProCure CenterSeattle Cancer Care Alliance Proton Therapy, A Procure Center is a cancer treatment center that uses precisely targeted radiation to treat cancer while preserving surrounding healthy tissue. Proton therapy is an advanced form of treatment that allows doctors to focus radiation directly into the tumor, reducing the potential for side effects. Protons are 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 childhood cancers. A collaborative effort between Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and ProCure Treatment Centers, SCCA Proton Therapy unites top physician experts in cancer from UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s Hospital. The Center is located on UW Medicine's Northwest Hospital & Medical Center campus and is the only proton therapy center in a seven-state region. For more information about proton therapy, visit www.SCCAprotontherapy.com or follow SCCA Proton Therapy on Twitter @SCCAProtons and Facebook.

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