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Proton therapy comes to New York City: behind the scenes at the NYPC

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | October 08, 2018
Rad Oncology Proton Therapy
From the October 2018 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine


In addition to the three provider partners, the project has accumulated a number of banks as investors including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Deutsche Bank AG and the Goldman Sachs Group Inc., along with Long Island-based multi-specialty physician practice, ProHEALTH Care Associates LLP, which serves as the manager of the project.

The regulatory climate for proton therapy in New York
presents challenges because the technology is so new.
Also lending expertise and resources is Dr. Thomas Petrone, who runs Petrone Associates LLC, a medical consulting practice with expertise in all areas of medical physics including diagnostics, nuclear medicine, MR and radiation oncology. The firm carries extensive experience on the regulatory requirements that govern the specific use of radiation, particularly within New York.

“They need to know how to write the regulations, how to enforce the regulations, what the technical aspects of the program are,” said Petrone. “We’re trying our best in making some inroads at creating a bridge between the regulators because this is the first of its kind in New York State, so my role is to bring these parties together.”

Petrone said the main objective at the moment is obtaining a permit for the particle accelerator.

“Because of the newness of this, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) Office of Radiological Health (ORH) has established a very detailed scope of what they want accomplished for them to feel comfortable issuing a registration permit to operate the accelerator,” he explained.“That’s the biggest job we have to work on and we are well on our way to doing so, having brought in numerous third-party consultants to help.”

Other less monumental approvals to be completed include radioactive materials licenses for PET/CT scanners and X-ray registration for CT systems, many of which were provided to the center by Siemens Healthineers.

The NYPC is also in the midst of acquiring a permit to occupy the building, which is expected to come through next month. Once completed, it can then apply to the Department of Health for its actual license. In addition, a nationwide search is underway to recruit experts in the field and build up an entire staff of 115-120 individuals to help in the running of the facility.

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