pencil beam scanning Archives - Provision CARES Proton Therapy Center

Provision experts featured at proton therapy conference

By | Cancer, Clinical Trials, Market, Niek Schreuder, ProNova, Proton Therapy, research, side effects, Survivors | No Comments

Three years after Provision opened the doors of its proton therapy center, awareness and demand for the treatment are growing—as is evidence of its effectiveness in treating various cancers, including prostate cancer and breast cancer.

At the National Association for Proton Therapy conference last week, Provision was well represented as employees spoke about ways technology, marketing and research are continuing to help boost proton therapy’s presence and use in providing quality care. Read More

While you are sleeping…

By | Cancer, Clinical Care, Innovation, Patient Experience, Technology, Uncategorized | No Comments

At 9:45 pm, when only the guard keeps watch over the empty lobby and a few therapists tie up loose ends at the end of a long day, they arrive—mostly young, jeans-clad, ready to do the behind-the-scenes, after-hours work that keeps Provision treating cancer patients.

Tonight’s four-man night crew is among 12 total IBA employees responsible for the treatment gantries, cyclotron, and larger proton therapy system—manufactured by Belgium-based IBA—that make proton therapy possible. They work in three shifts, starting at 5:30 a.m. and 1:30 and 10:00 p.m., rotating crews every three weeks. They are little seen behind the closed doors of their control room and in the bowels of the facility’s equipment rooms, but the team is crucial to ensuring patients receive treatment on time and at the correct dose.

Tonight’s night shift is made up of Jake Storey, operator technician; Micah Veilleux, software systems engineer; Jeremy Cheatham, beam physicist; and Troy Brown, systems engineer specializing in robotics.

On this particular evening, Veilleux has preparations for a software system upgrade on his to-do list, while Storey reviews scheduled maintenance tasks such as blowing dust out of the control units, greasing hinges and checking or recalibrating various pieces of equipment.

The big job at hand, though, is dealing with recent challenges presented by IBA’s decision to change out the deflector in the cyclotron. The component, which helps channel protons to the patient target, was acting up at some other IBA sites, so the company chose to upgrade the part in all of its machines. That has resulted in a shutdown and a significant problem to solve in the coming hours. Read More

My Proton Therapy Journey: Niek Schreuder

By | Clinical Care, Culture of Care, Proton Therapy, Technology, Uncategorized | No Comments

Niek Schreuder, M.Sc. DABR, vice president and chief medical physicist, is a board-certified medical physicist at Provision Center for Proton Therapy in Knoxville.  He explains, in his own words, his career path into proton therapy.

I started my career in medical physics in South Africa in 1988 when I decided to change from health physics – where one tries to limit radiation to people – to medical physics – where one applies radiation to people.  In 1989 I joined the particle therapy program at the National Accelerator Center in Cape Town, South Africa, now called iThemba labs, and in September 1989 we treated the first patients with high-energy neutrons at that facility in Cape Town.  Soon after that we started developing the proton therapy system and treated the first patients 1993.  The proton facility in Cape Town was, and still is, a truly homemade and pioneering system and remains the only particle therapy facility in the Southern Hemisphere.  Developing that facility taught me the fundamental and basic principles of proton medical physics as well as the electronics involved in making the technology possible.

In 1996 Prof. Jean-Pierre Blaser from the Paul Sherrer Institute (PSI) in Switzerland, where the first proton pencil beam scanning treatments were done, visited the facility in Cape Town.  He expressed the vision that one day the majority of radiation therapy world-wide will be done with protons.  When he saw our disbelief he asked the question “why are you doing research in proton therapy if you don’t believe it will be used in the future?”  That’s when I decided to move to the USA to devote my life to furthering the development of proton therapy and more so making it available to more people.  I moved my family to Bloomington, Indiana, in February 2001 to become the lead medical physicist at the Midwest Proton Therapy Facility (MPRI) under the leadership of the late Dr. John Cameron.  We treated the first patient at the MPRI facility (now called IU Health Proton Therapy Facility) in the spring of 2004.  In 2005, I joined ProCure treatment centers as a founding member constructing four more proton therapy centers across the USA between 2007 and 2012.  When I participated in the opening of the Provision Center for Proton Therapy in Knoxville I realized that it was the 7th proton therapy facility I was involved in opening – probably a world record, but certainly true to the vision cast by Prof. Blaser in 1996.

It’s my honest belief that proton therapy is the next major step in the technological development of cancer treatments and will proliferate significantly in the very near future.  The availability and deliverability of pencil beam scanning makes this dream possible and today I am more convinced than ever that the vision casted by Prof. Blaser is attainable and will lead to a significant improvement in cancer cure rates across the globe.

Provision Celebrates Another Milestone: Gantry Treatment Room Open

By | Clinical Care, Culture of Care, Patient Experience, Patient Hospitality, Prostate Cancer, Proton Therapy, Technology, Uncategorized | No Comments

The Creekside treatment room (pictured above) at Provision Center for Proton Therapy is the first of two 360-degree gantry treatment rooms that can treat patients who have more complex cancers in a variety of disease sites. 

Provision Center for Proton Therapy celebrated yet another milestone this week – the opening of the first of two gantry treatment rooms.   The gantry rotates 360 degrees around the patient enabling us to treat a variety of more complex cancers such as brain, lung, breast, head and neck, esophageal, and pediatric cancers.

Pencil Beam Scanning

This room will also have a precise form of treatment: Pencil Beam Scanning (PBS). Pencil beam scanning uses a beam that is much smaller than those used in more common proton treatments and allows us to “paint” the tumor with protons. It can therefore be used to treat difficult tumors at higher doses and with fewer side effects to surrounding healthy tissue. There are currently less than 10 centers in the United States that have access to this incredible technology.

Third Treatment Room

Our third treatment room is scheduled to open in early fall. Once the third treatment room opens the Provision Center for Proton Therapy will have the ability to provide life-saving cancer treatment to as many as 90+ patients per day.

Grand Opening

The Provision team would like to invite all former, current, and future patients along with friends and family to the official Grand Opening of the Provision Center for Proton Therapy on Wednesday, April 30 at 3 p.m. We will have special guest speakers in celebration of the grand opening. Refreshments will be provided and the center will be open for tours. Please contact us at (865) 862-1600 to RSVP or for more information.