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05/14/2013

Proton therapy facility to break ground in Irving on Wednesday

North Texas' first facility offering proton radiation therapy, a $105 million project that will be located in Irving, will break ground Wednesday morning. The Texas Center for Proton Therapy, first announced in June 2011, will be built by Dallas-based Baylor Health Care System and Texas Oncology, the state's largest cancer physicians group. Gary Barlow, the facility's director, said the 63,000-square-foot project will include three treatment rooms, associated imaging services and labs. He said it is expected to treat its first patients by early 2016. There are currently 11 proton treatment facilities in the United States, he said. The only current Texas facility is at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Dr. Scott Cheek, a radiation oncologist at Texas Oncology-Baylor Sammons Cancer Center in Dallas, said a proton beam delivers a more precise dose of radiation than conventional x-ray therapy. It is especially helpful when tumors are near the brain, eyes or spinal cord, or when a tumor is wrapped around a organ, he said. "This is additive, another arrow in our armamentarium" for fighting cancer besides conventional radiation and chemotherapy, Cheek said. The new facility's address is 1501 W. Royal Lane in Irving, which was selected for its proximity to both Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field.

-- Jim Fuquay

 

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