May 26, 2015

Scott Hamilton Proton Therapy Center Planned for Middle Tennessee

An application for a certificate of need was approved unanimously (9-0) today by the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency for the development of Tennessee’s third proton therapy cancer treatment center.  Provision Trust, Inc. and the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation are planning to develop and operate the first Scott Hamilton Proton Therapy Center in the United States in the city of Franklin in Williamson County. 

The $109 million not-for-profit center will be open to all qualified and properly credentialed radiation oncologists, regardless of hospital affiliation, bringing proton therapy to the citizens of Middle Tennessee.  The proton center will be developed on an 11.6-acre vacant lot near Williamson Medical Center and the existing Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Franklin.

Proton Therapy is one of the most advanced treatments available to cancer patients.  Currently, there are only 15 proton therapy centers in the United States. Provision currently owns and operates one of those 14 centers located in Knoxville. 

“Proton therapy is an amazing form of cancer treatment that allows patients to receive the life-saving care they need while maintaining a high quality of life at the same time,” said Scott Hamilton, who testified at today’s meeting in Nashville.  “I am eager to see it available here in Middle Tennessee.  This community leads the nation in so many ways when it comes to healthcare, and this project represents another important opportunity to demonstrate our leadership yet again. I am proud to lend my name and support to this initiative.”

Olympic figure-skating gold medalist Scott Hamilton, a resident of Franklin and a cancer survivor, serves as a board member of the Provision Center for Proton Therapy and formed the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation (SHCF) with a mission to improve cancer patient survivorship by supporting world class cancer research and the highest quality patient treatment and care.

The addition of the first Scott Hamilton Proton Therapy Center in Hamilton’s city of residence is a significant step towards a progressive new vision in cancer advocacy, awareness and treatment. The center will primarily serve 38 Middle Tennessee counties. Its secondary service area extends to West Tennessee and adjoining areas of Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky.   

With the Scott Hamilton Proton Center in Franklin, the pediatric center at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (scheduled to open in 2016), and the Provision Center for Proton Therapy in Knoxville, Tennessee will be the only state with three proton therapy centers. Most are located at renowned cancer centers such as the University of Texas’s MD Anderson Cancer Center, the University of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard University.  Emory University in Atlanta and the Mayo Clinic plan to open centers this year.

About Proton Therapy

Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation therapy that uses a single beam of high-energy protons to treat various forms of cancer. Proton therapy treats tumors by directing radiation into the tumor site where doses of radiation destroy cancerous cells. Physicians can control the timing and dosage of energy from protons, which allows the maximum energy deposited directly into the tumor, reducing damage to nearby healthy tissue and thus limiting negative side effects.  Protons are more precise than traditional radiation therapy, with the proton beam being fine-tuned within millimeters of accuracy to deliver maximum energy within a controlled range of the tumor. Proton treatment can also be combined with radiation, chemotherapy and biological treatments, depending on the cancer type to provide better outcomes and less tissue damage. Also, Proton treatment greatly improves pediatric outcomes.

 

About the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation

Founded by Olympic gold medalist and cancer survivor Scott Hamilton, the SHCF focuses on creating synergistic alliances between granting foundations, research institutions and cancer treatment centers to better coordinate efforts in the fight against cancer. SHCF focuses on early detection, advanced diagnostics and leading–edge cancer treatment in an effort to significantly improve cure rates and quality of life.