Montefiore in the News
New York State’s First Proton Therapy Center Opens in East Harlem
- June 6, 2019
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Montefiore Health System, and Mount Sinai Health System partner to bring cutting-edge radiation treatment to New York metro region
With state-of-the-art technology and clinical expertise from leading health care institutions, New York Proton Center will offer exceptional patient experience and serve as a home for groundbreaking research
New York, June 6, 2019 - New York Proton Center, New York state’s first proton therapy facility, opened its doors today in East Harlem. A consortium of three New York City-based health care institutions—Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), Montefiore Health System and Mount Sinai Health System—will begin sending patients and providing clinical expertise to the new center. ProHEALTH, a multi-specialty health care network, provides back end business support for the center.
Combining the expertise of radiation oncologists from nationally regarded health systems with state-of-the-art proton beam technology, the $300 million, 140,000-square-foot facility will be a beacon of top-quality cancer care nationwide.
With a large number of patients coming from its consortium hospital partners, in addition to patients and other providers seeking out the latest in radiation oncology technology, New York Proton Center will also be one of the busiest proton centers in the country, serving as a vital resource for those in the New York metro region.
“Proton therapy has proven highly successful in treating a wide variety of cancers and has increasingly become an integral tool in reducing side effects and preserving quality of life,” said Dr. Charles Simone, New York Proton Center’s Chief Medical Officer. “Patients throughout the tri-state area and beyond now have access to the most advanced radiation treatment currently available.”
“The opening of this facility represents an unprecedented commitment to the future of cancer treatment,” said Dr. Simon Powell, Chair of Radiation Oncology at MSK. “New York will continue to lead in the struggle against cancer by offering groundbreaking treatment for many of our most vulnerable patients.”
“Cancer therapy is more effective than ever, but the combination of the number of treatments, keeping track of them, and getting to and from each appointment is grueling for many,” said Dr. Shalom Kalnicki, FACRO, professor and chair, Radiation Oncology, Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “Through our research at the New York Proton Center, we can now explore novel ways to better target and time a form of radiation that spares healthy organs in a way that has never been possible until now. Today marks the beginning of an improved care treatment process and era where people can live longer, but also enjoy healthier cancer-free lives.”
“This center will not only provide metro area patients with an extremely high level of care, but it will serve as the site of clinical trials that hold the potential to significantly influence the way we treat cancer,” said Dr. Kenneth Rosenzweig, Chair of Radiation Oncology at Mount Sinai. “Our mission is to deliver both clinical excellence and innovative research that saves lives today and in the future.”
“With its unique consortium model of clinical partners, this proton facility is well-positioned for success,” said Allan Freeman, Chief Executive Officer of New York Proton Center. “We intend to deliver an unparalleled patient experience leveraging the most advanced proton technology available anywhere in the world.”
Leveraging pioneering technology
Whereas regular photon radiation pierces through its intended target, often impacting sensitive organs and tissue, proton therapy uses a more precise beam that stops at the tumor, drastically reducing or even eliminating unnecessary irradiation to adjacent healthy tissues.
There are 30 proton centers nationwide, but New York Proton Center is one of the few that is equipped with the newest and most effective treatment technology, including:
- second-generation proton therapy with pencil beam scanning that allows optimal treatment for the most complex tumors
- volumetric imaging, which helps physicians precisely identify and target cancers to millimeter accuracy
Clinical focus areas
The center’s faculty of 23 proton therapy-trained radiation oncologists, with decades of experience working at proton centers, is much larger than most comparable centers. In addition to Dr. Simone, the center’s clinical leadership will include the chairs of radiation oncology at each of its consortium partner institutions: Dr. Powell (MSK), Dr. Kalnicki (Montefiore), and Dr. Rosenzweig (Mount Sinai).
New York Proton Center’s team will coordinate care with its consortium partners to ensure a seamless patient experience. It will treat patients with a wide variety of conditions, including brain and spine tumors, head and neck tumors, breast cancer, lung and other thoracic cancers, gastrointestinal cancers, sarcomas, gynecologic cancers, prostate cancer, lymphomas and recurrent cancers.
The center will also be the site of treatment for the vast majority of children in the New York metro region with solid tumors.
Research and clinical trials
In addition to delivering the highest standard of care to patients, New York Proton Center will advance the body of clinical evidence examining the effectiveness of proton therapy in the treatment of various cancers.
An assortment of clinical trials will be conducted at the facility, beginning on day one with studies evaluating the benefits of proton therapy over photon therapy for breast cancer, head and neck cancers, and prostate cancer, as well as for patients who have already undergone extensive photon radiation and have tumor recurrences.
The results of these studies have the potential to change the standard of care for patient treatment and could provide the evidence that would help increase the availability of proton therapy to more patients.
Bringing the future of cancer treatment to East Harlem
New York Proton Center anchors the 125th Street Development Project, a New York City Economic Development Corporation initiative aimed at revitalizing East Harlem as a hub of innovation.
About New York Proton Center
New York Proton Center is creating the gold standard for proton therapy, giving new hope to patients living with cancer. In partnership with leading academic medical centers—Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Montefiore Health System, Mount Sinai Health System, and ProHEALTH as manager—New York Proton Center brings together expert oncologists, clinical care teams, and researchers to improve cancer care and advance the clinical evidence for proton therapy.