Texas Center for Proton Therapy in Irving delivered beam radiation treatment to its first patients in North Texas on Nov. 10.

Opening three months ahead of its original schedule, the 65,000-square-foot center is the first of its kind in North Texas and the only center in the state to offer the latest generation proton therapy technology.

Until now, Dallas-Fort Worth was the largest metropolitan area in the United States without a proton therapy treatment facility. It is one of only a few centers in the country offering this advanced, life-saving technology.

Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation treatment that delivers precisely targeted radiation to tumors, minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue, which reduces side effects and helps patients maintain quality of life during and after treatment.

“On behalf of our patients, current and future, we are pleased to achieve this important milestone in cancer care in Texas – treating our first patients with this remarkably precise and effective radiation technology,” said Dr. Andrew Lee, medical director, Texas Center for Proton Therapy. “The power and promise that proton therapy offers for better outcomes and improved quality of life provides new hope for cancer patients.”

Lee served almost 14 years at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, including as director of MD Anderson Proton Center. He launched proton therapy treatment at MD Anderson almost nine years ago, treating the facility’s first proton therapy patient in 2006. He was the first physician in North America to treat patients with pencil-beam scanning.

Construction on the treatment facility, located at 1501 W. Royal Lane in Irving, began in May 2013. The center is a collaboration of Texas Oncology, The US Oncology Network, McKesson Specialty Health and Baylor Health Enterprises.

“Texas Oncology delivers nearly half of all cancer care in Texas, in communities large and small across the state. Texas Center for Proton Therapy is a major accomplishment in furthering our mission, which is to give our physicians and patients access to the full range of advanced cancer treatments, while delivering personalized, compassionate care,” said Dr. Steven Paulson, Texas Oncology chairman and president. “We’re grateful for the dedication and commitment of so many people who helped make possible this new breakthrough in cancer care in Texas.”

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