An ocean from home
Patients to travel from Norway for proton therapy in Jacksonville
By Theresa Makrush
In an agreement with the Norway Health Authority, the UF Proton Therapy Institute will treat Norwegian children and adults who have rare tumors in the nasal and sinus cavity, skull and brain. Currently there are no medical centers in Norway that offer proton therapy. For cancers in highly sensitive areas, proton therapy provides patients a superior treatment that also minimizes risk of damage to vision, hearing and brain function.
The UF Proton Therapy Institute has a similar arrangement with the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, which has referred approximately 200 children and adults for proton therapy in Jacksonville since 2010.
“It is significant for both the advancement of proton therapy and our institution to be selected by our colleagues in Norway to care for their patients,” said UF Proton Therapy Institute medical director Nancy Mendenhall, M.D. “It signifies acceptance of proton therapy as the ‘gold standard’ of care for many kinds of cancer, and it recognizes our medical expertise caring for patients who have cancers that in some cases are one in a million.”
Since opening in August 2006, the UF Proton Therapy Institute has achieved international recognition for excellence in delivering proton therapy. The pediatric program is the largest proton therapy practice in the world, with an average of 20 children on treatment daily.
“Hundreds of people travel great distances to Jacksonville each year to have proton therapy,” said Stuart Klein, executive director of the UF Proton Therapy Institute. “It is a testament to the clinical advantage of proton therapy to give patients the best hope for cure and to go on to live a normal, healthy life. It is also a testament to the professionals who deliver world-class health care to our patients daily.” — Theresa Makrush