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An Innovative Approach

An Innovative Approach

Director's Letter

Proton Therapy is here. The new Johns Hopkins National Proton Center at Sibley Memorial Hospital is built upon along and rich tradition of excellence in radiation oncology, bringing nearly a half-century of cancer discovery and clinical progress to proton therapy.

It’s striking that this technology has been around for more than 40 years but has never really been tested in the research setting. This is what sets us apart from other centers. We ask the tough questions because we are prepared to go after the answers. With a dedicated proton research laboratory, our experts are ready to do the hard work and gather the much-needed evidence to guide when and how proton therapy is best used.

We waited until the technology was right to bring proton therapy to Johns Hopkins, and when we did, we made it better, customizing it with our own inventions. Our proton therapy center will have the most advanced pencil beam, which paints tumors layer by layer, staying within the boundaries of the tumor. The beam adjusts to differences throughout the tumor to provide the right amount of energy to every different area of the tumor.

One size doesn’t fit all. Every patient, every cancer, is different, so we are ushering in the most advanced tumor monitoring that makes the already safe and targeted pencil beam patient-specific and even more tumor-specific. Advanced imaging and sophisticated data mining will make complex comparisons of photon and proton therapies to ensure each patient receives the therapy that is best suited to his or her unique cancer.

We have the world’s leading experts across all disciplines and specialties working in collaboration. This includes a collaboration with Children’s National Hospital to create one of the largest pediatric radiation oncology programs in the country. Few other centers can claim this level of expertise. We know cancer and proton therapy. That is the Johns Hopkins difference. There are centers that can deliver proton therapy, and then there are centers like ours that combine the highest level of cancer care with scientific innovation to make sure the cancer medicine we deliver is the best medicine for each patient. Our new National Proton Center enhances our mission of curing cancer and changing lives.

William G. Nelson, M.D., Ph.D.
Marion I. Knott Professor and Director
The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins

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