The OSUCCC – James and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center are collaborating with Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH) to bring the first proton therapy treatment facility to central Ohio.

The new proton center, which will be located at the new 340,000-square foot outpatient facility planned for Ohio State’s west campus, will offer state-of-the-art radiation oncology treatment for adult and pediatric cancer patients at one location. The center, to be managed by radiation oncology experts from The James, is targeted to open in 2021.

Proton therapy is an advanced type of radiation treatment that uses protons (positively charged particles) instead of X-rays to kill cancer cells. A machine painlessly delivers a high-energy proton beam through the skin from outside the body.

“As central and southern Ohio’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, we have a duty to bring advanced, evidence-based treatment options like proton therapy to the region for the benefit of patients who need this type of subspecialized care,” says William Farrar, MD, interim chief executive officer of The James.

This therapy can be used alone or in combination with other therapies to treat several localized cancers, including prostate, brain, head and neck, lung, spine and gastrointestinal cancers in adults, as well as brain cancer, lymphoma, retinoblastomas and sarcomas in children.

“It’s important to note that traditional targeted radiation therapy techniques are still highly effective for many solid tumors, but proton therapy is an exciting new option for localized tumors. It allows us to deliver the highest concentration of treatment directly to cancerous tissue while sparing delicate surrounding tissue that, if damaged as a side effect of cancer treatment, could result in quality-of-life-impacting toxicity,” says Arnab Chakravarti, MD, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Ohio State.

The proton therapy facility will occupy approximately 55,000 square feet of the new outpatient facility and will cost about $100 million. NCH has committed to provide up to half of the expected cost. Not only will the proton facility enable patients in the region to receive this subspecialized treatment closer to home, but it will also spark research, clinical trials and academic partnerships that will lead to improved cancer care.

72-Bed Expansion Project Complete

The 72-bed expansion of shelled space in The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute is complete. This expansion increases the number of cancer and noncancer critical care and acute medical-surgical care/progressive ICU care beds, giving patients greater access to services. With this expansion, The James has 344 total cancer inpatient beds and continues to be the country's third-largest cancer hospital.

Among the features on the new units are electronic white boards in patient rooms and digital signage outside the rooms. The digital door signage will display important patient and staffing information and safety factors. The electronic white boards will display general patient and staffing information along with daily goals, activities, pain management, allergies and discharge goals for the patient. The digital signage is designed to enhance the level of patient care and improve patient and staff communication.

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