The National Association for Proton Therapy celebrates 30 years with a celebration at the National Proton Conference on July 24th, 2020, with a virtual experience. The 2020 National Proton Conference was scheduled in Nashville with keynote speaker Scott Hamilton, an Olympic Gold Medalist and US and World Figure Skating Champion. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization quickly shifted their efforts to offer an interactive live virtual conference in July. Jennifer Maggiore, NAPT Executive Director states “We knew in early March that it would not be safe for our attendees to travel and gather in person at our National Proton Conference. Just as it is vital for cancer care to continue in this pandemic, we felt it was important to support patients by ensuring education about advanced treatments continues for the proton therapy community. We quickly transformed our conference to provide our community an opportunity to learn about the latest advancements in the field of Proton Beam Therapy (PBT).” The recent publication of significantly important research supporting the benefits of PBT is timely and validates the decision to move forward with the conference. Unfortunately, many cancer patients who need proton therapy do not have access to this technology in their region. With the concerns of COVID-19 transmissions, traveling to a proton center may not be attainable for many cancer patients. NAPT will support increased awareness and access to this technology by providing education and bringing leaders in proton therapy together. The Nashville conference planned a special reception in Nashville to celebrate 30 years as the “Voice of the Proton Community”. “For the virtual conference, we are supporting the community of musicians who are unable to perform during the pandemic by hiring Nicole Zuraitas to provide live music at our virtual Happy Hour. We will toast to our 30-year anniversary together at the end of the conference. This will be a great opportunity to engage with our proton therapy community in a safe environment”, explains Maggiore.
Nancy Howard, 2020 Conference Chair and Vice President of Marketing at Provision CARES Proton Therapy states, “We are honored that Scott Hamilton will kick off the conference with a welcome to conference attendees. He is a cancer survivor and a true advocate for cancer patients and proton therapy.” The program agenda includes speakers who are leaders and experts in proton therapy from Penn Medicine, Johns Hopkins Proton Center, Mayo Clinic, and other leading cancer programs who will share pertinent research and issues affecting cancer patients. Maggiore adds “During this pandemic, we have witnessed the decline in access to cancer care and major barriers for patients seeking preventative and curative treatment for cancer. It is more important than ever to strengthen our collaboration through shared knowledge to advocate and promote cancer care, research and access to the most advanced and innovative technologies available for cancer patients.” Mevion, a leader in single room proton systems is the presenting sponsor with a featured presentation “MLC Based IMPT in Complex Clinical Cases”.
The National Association for Proton Therapy (NAPT) began as the Proton Therapy Consortium in 1990. One of the founding members, Len Artz states, “NAPT evolved beyond my wildest dreams. It continues to make a profound difference in patients’ health and wellbeing. It stands on the shoulders of many proton community leaders over the years. It continues to grow as an organization and expand its outreach that makes me very proud”.
The National Association for Proton Therapy (NAPT) is an independent nonprofit organization founded in 1990 to educate and increase awareness about the clinical benefits of proton therapy. Its members include 37 of the nation’s leading cancer centers some of whom are NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers and NCCN members. The mission of NAPT is to work collaboratively to raise public awareness of the clinical benefits of proton therapy, ensure patients’ choice and access to affordable proton therapy, and encourage cooperative research and innovation to advance the appropriate and cost-effective utilization of proton therapy.
For more information please visit: www.napt2020.com