News

Kettering Medical Center to Develop Dayton’s Most Advanced Proton Therapy

By Kevin Lavoie

Kettering Medical Center (KMC) in Kettering, Ohio, announced plans for a new proton therapy center to be established within three years. Utilizing the most advanced proton technology, KMC officials say they can offer the same cancer treatment benefits with a project that costs about half the price of conventional proton centers currently operating in America.

Only eight proton treatment centers exist in the United States. “We have been working on this for nearly three years as part of our 2016 plan, and there is technology available now that makes proton therapy practical for the Dayton region and its patient base,” says Frank Perez, CEO of Kettering Adventist HealthCare.

Some questions remain to be answered about the center’s location, but KMC already has financing, medical imaging and supporting physician expertise in place. The medical center is working with American Shared Hospital Services, a San Francisco-based company it has already partnered with to successfully bring advanced cancer fighting technology to Dayton and southwest Ohio.

“We’ve worked with American Shared Hospital Services for over 10 years as a partner in providing southwest Ohio’s only Gamma Knife,” said Roy Chew, PhD, KMC president. “We are very comfortable with their ability to help bring proton therapy and complete a full continuum of cancer care here in Dayton and the surrounding Midwest region.”

Extensive studies on potential case load are key to effectively introducing technology this expensive and specialized. The proton therapy center will support a region far larger than the Dayton area, so Kettering will work to establish relationships with other hospitals that can benefit from proton therapy. KMC will seek support from local governments and community leaders as they answer the final questions before the construction phase. Once complete, the center is expected to employ up to 100 new employees.

"The addition of proton technology will be a welcomed addition to a comprehensive approach in offering patients with cancers of the brain, head and neck, spine, eye, esophagus, prostate, liver and breast the most advanced treatment options,” said Stuart Merl, MD, chair of the Kettering Adventist HealthCare Cancer Committee.

“Ten years ago, Kettering Medical Center brought in Gamma Knife to attack tumors in the brain without a scalpel, and soon our proton therapy center will allow us to attack tumors and spare good tissue in other parts of the body,” said Fred Manchur, Kettering Adventist HealthCare president. “Our proton therapy center will offer the latest treatment to help sustain and enrich lives in our communities for years to come.”