March 3, 2023 – Hampton University this morning announced a partnership that will bring a revolutionary new technology to improve cancer treatment.
The Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute’s partnership with Leo Cancer Care and the Jefferson Lab will “challenge norms and break down barriers to truly deliver a new way to treat patients,” said Stephen Towe, chief executive officer for Leo Cancer Care, founded in Australia.
Alejandro Carabe, chief medical physicist for the HU Proton Therapy Institute said: “We will be the first ones in doing something not done anywhere else in the world.”
The new treatment is expected to be available in about three years. Currently, Carabe said, the proton beam is static. The giant gantry is re-positioned several times during each treatment to direct the beam from different angles. In the new therapy, the beam will remain continuous. “We will rotate the patient while the beam is on, improving precision and overall quality of the delivery,” Carabe said.
That will shorten the duration the patient is in the room, allowing the center to treat as many as three times more patients, which will “help more people get their cancers cured,” Carabe said.
Towe said that increased access represents a “true democratization of proton therapy.”
Here’s what each of the three entities brings:
- The Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute offers benefits over traditional radiation, including shorter treatment time, less discomfort, and a higher curability rate.
- Jefferson Lab’s expertise in particle detection will ensure precision in directing the beam to cancer cells.
- Leo Cancer Care pioneered a revolutionary equipment already has seen better results by treating patients while they are seated than lying down.
HU President Darrell Williams noted that “at its inception, the proton therapy institute was a radical innovation here at Hampton University,” and that the new partnership will “bring additional capability and another great innovation.”
The innovative treatment will not only do “great things for humanity,” said Tiffany Velez Rodgers, marketing director for the HU Proton Therapy Institute. “It will have a major impact to the region and the whole East Coast.”