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St. Joseph's Hospital to install first proton therapy system in Tampa Bay area

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | November 13, 2023
Rad Oncology Proton Therapy
MEVION S250-FIT Proton Therapy System (Photo courtesy of St. Joseph's Hospital)
St. Joseph’s Hospital Cancer Institute, part of the BayCare Health System, is installing the Tampa Bay area’s first proton therapy system, saving patients the hassle of traveling to Orlando for this treatment.

The healthcare provider will install the $33 million MEVION S250-FIT Proton Therapy System, developed by Mevion Medical Systems, in its Fred J. Woods Radiation Therapy Center and expects to begin treatments in the fall of 2025.

Because of the technology’s small size and the ability to integrate it into existing infrastructure, BayCare says that it can offer treatment to patients on an expedited timeline.

“The reduced exposure of radiation to healthy tissue helps patients limit their complications, particularly when the cancer is near a vital structure. It is also a great benefit for kids, whose bodies and tissues are still growing," said Dr. Nitesh Paryani, St. Joseph's Hospital's medical director of radiation oncology, in a statement.

Launched in 2022, the MEVION S250-FIT Proton Therapy System is the only full proton therapy system that can fit in an existing LINAC vault and has the smallest self-shielded proton accelerator in the world.

Its compact size can reduce the cost and complexity of care, and it comes with HYPERSCAN Pencil Beam Scanning technology for intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT), dual-energy large-bore diagnostic CT at treatment position for image-guided radiation therapy, adaptive therapy, and FLASH research capabilities. It also can facilitate ARC therapy, adaptive planning, dual-energy CT (DECT), and other techniques.

The Fred J. Woods Radiation Therapy Center cares for more than 900 patients annually and was the first radiation therapy center in Tampa Bay when it opened in 1969.

The MEVION S250-FIT Proton Therapy System, FLASH therapy, online adaptive therapy, and ARC therapy are not yet available for clinical use.

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