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Proton Therapy Center Opens For Cancer Patients

Proton Therapy

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WARRENVILLE, Ill. (CBS) - The state’s first proton therapy center for cancer patients is now open for business.

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The $140 million facility in west suburban Warrenville offers more targeted radiation than older methods. Central DuPage Hospital and ProCure opened the CDH Proton Center on Tuesday.

The facility is the nation’s ninth such center.

Proton therapy is used for treating several kinds of tumors, including brain cancer, prostate cancer, lung tumors and melanoma of the eye.

The process is intended to deliver more radiation while sparing healthy tissue, thus averting some of the side-effects patients experience with the usual X-ray radiation.

The CDH Proton Center says in in 2008, Massachusetts General Hospital reported that protons cut the risk of secondary cancer by 50 percent.

But proton therapy is costly and skeptics say it has not been proven to be better than traditional techniques.

A delayed proton therapy center that Northern Illinois University plans for the DuPage National Technology Park in West Chicago is still awaiting financing and state regulators’ approval. But a spokesman says it is still moving forward.

The forthcoming Northern Illinois Proton Treatment and Research Center is a joint effort between NIU and the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation.

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