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Tuesday, October 27, 2015 -- UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND SCHOOL OF MEDICINE -- William F. Regine, MD, FACR, FACRO, the Isadore & Fannie Schneider Foxman Endowed Chair and Professor in Radiation Oncology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) and Executive Director of the Maryland Proton Treatment Center (MPTC) and UM SOM Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, announced today they are making final preparations for patient consultations at the new Maryland Proton Treatment Center (MPTC) to begin this November with patient treatment expected to start after the new year. The Maryland Proton Treatment Center is the first center in the Baltimore/Washington region to offer proton therapy, a highly advanced and precise form of radiation therapy.

MPTC will be one of only a handful of centers in the country to have a fully integrated system of volumetrically image-guided proton therapy (IGPT) and intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT). Proton therapy is a highly advanced and precise form of radiation therapy which decreases the dose to normal tissues, and in many patients, results in fewer side effects. It is a highly effective treatment for a wide range of localized tumors, such as those found in the brain, base of skull, head and neck area, eye tumors, tumors of the esophagus, lung, prostate, liver, breast and spinal cord, as well as gastrointestinal malignancies. It is a crucially important treatment option for children with cancer.

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As an initial step in its preparations, the SOM reports that all medical and support staff have now completed their move to 850 W. Baltimore St., the site of the MPTC at the University of Maryland BioPark in West Baltimore. The new 110,000 square-foot facility, which houses the 90-ton cyclotron that will generate the proton particles, will employ more than 170 physicians, technicians, and support staff. MPTC will be ready to open its doors for patient consults in November and will begin treating its first patients in winter 2016. The Center plans to ramp up to full capacity in 2017, when it will treat nearly 2,000 patients per year. MPTC is distinctive from other proton centers around the country in several ways, according to Minesh P. Mehta, MBChB, FASTRO, professor of radiation oncology at the UM SOM, and medical director of MPTC.

“Our vision for MPTC has always been what is most important to our patients: accessibility and affordability,” Dr. Mehta said. “If you have great technology like this, it is worth doing it in a way that you can make it available to the people who need it most.”
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