ProCure opens proton therapy treatment center
ProCure Treatment Centers has opened the ProCure Training and Development Center (TDC), a facility dedicated to proton therapy training, in Bloomington, Ind.

ProCure Treatment said there are currently only five proton therapy centers operating in the United States, but said it anticipates that within the next five years, at least 10 new proton therapy facilities will open across the country, increasing the demand for skilled clinical, technical and administrative staff.

The TDC will provide hands-on training for radiation oncologists, medical physicists, dosimetrists, radiation therapists and other staff that simulates all aspects of proton therapy treatment in a replica of a proton therapy treatment center featuring everything but the actual protons, according to the Bloomington, Ind.-based company.

In addition to lecture rooms for instruction and training, the two-story, 20,000-square-foot center features two treatment rooms - an inclined-beam room that simulates the beam's ability to be brought in at two angles, and a gantry room that simulates the beam rotating 360 degrees around the patient, ProCure said.

"The TDC provides before-the-job training ensuring that staff will be ready to treat patients before a proton therapy center is opened, reducing the start-up time in seeing the first patient," said Niek Schreuder, senior vice president of technology and medical physics at ProCure.

ProCure's first private practice, community-based proton therapy center is being built in Oklahoma City and is scheduled to open in 2009. ProCure also has proton therapy centers under development in Illinois and Michigan, scheduled to open in 2010.