The new center is representative of a $48 million investment for innovative patient care for Lancaster County and surrounding areas, according to Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health. Construction of the 8,000 square-foot, four-story building began in September and will be completed by Fall 2021, according to Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health.
Chair of radiation oncology at Penn and head of the Roberts Proton Therapy Center James Metz told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the center's location will grant people in central Pennsylvania easy access to the most innovative forms of proton cancer therapy, for which they previously would have had to travel to Philadelphia.
“We see where things are going in the future. It’s important to move the technology closer to peoples’ homes, so they don’t have to travel so far,” Metz said.
Proton therapy is one of the newest and most “precise” forms of cancer treatment, according to Penn Medicine. Traditional therapy uses X-rays which can potentially damage both healthy and cancerous cells, according to Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health. Proton therapy, instead, attacks cancerous regions while sparing surrounding healthy tissue.
“The combination goes beyond traditional manners of understanding and responding to disease,” Randall Oyer, who is the medical director of the institute, told Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health. “Here, physicians pursue a therapy or treatment protocol based on a patient’s molecular profile, to minimize harmful side effects and to achieve a more successful outcome.”
The center will become the second site in Pennsylvania to offer innovative radiation therapy for cancer patients.
Penn Medicine is a leader in proton therapy with Penn radiation oncologists having treated more than 6,000 patients at the Philadelphia–based Roberts Proton Therapy Center since its opening in 2010, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health reported.