UF proton therapy researchers score pancreatic cancer

Jacksonville Business Journal by Ashley Gurbal Kritzer, Reporter

Date: Friday, November 30, 2012, 9:37am EST


Researchers from the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute in Jacksonville have found that proton therapy may be a safe option for treating pancreatic cancer when combined with surgery and chemotherapy.

Dr. R. Charles Nichols, a radiation oncologist at the institute, presented the findings International Symposium on Pancreas Cancer 2012 in Kyoto, Japan, in October. The institute announced the research Thursday in a news release.

The research indicates that proton therapy can eliminate gastrointestinal side effects from conventional radiation therapy when it is used to treat cancer that cannot be surgically removed or that is treated after a complete or partial surgical removal, according to the release.

The proton therapy institute could become the central focus of a push for a bioscience research center in Jacksonville led by Dr. Daniel Wilson, dean of the UF College of Medicine, Jacksonville.

Last week, Wilson told the Business Journal that he’s made substantial progress on the initiative since announcing it a conference in September.

“I continue to be truly impressed at the consensus, and it’s a very broad consensus among health care leaders, corporate people, civic leaders, that this can and should happen,” Wilson said. “For our part, we’re totally in tune with that and intend to have the University of Florida work toward developing a biomedical research institute with a substantial, but not exclusive, focus on cancer.”

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