Today, the New York Proton Center (NYPC) celebrated its third anniversary, after opening its doors for treatment in August 2019.
The New York Proton Center is one of the anchoring projects of the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s plan for creating an innovation corridor around East 125th Street in Harlem. The facility treats more than 100 people each day and serves as one of the top institutions for pioneering clinical research.
The first facility dedicated to proton therapy in New York State, NYPC is operated by a consortium that includes Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), Montefiore Health System and Mount Sinai Health System.
There are 39 proton centers across the United States, including affiliations with many of the world’s most renowned cancer care providers and National Cancer Institute-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers. In its first three years, NYPC has grown at a more rapid rate and currently treats more patients than any other proton center, surpassing the treatment of its 2,000th patient in March 2022.
“We have established a new consortium-driven model for innovative healthcare in New York that is replicable beyond the Tri-State region,” said New York Proton Center CEO Jonathan Weinbach. “We continue to see a growing need for proton therapy and look forward to continuing to serve more people who can benefit from this treatment.”
“Over the last three years, the New York Proton Center has fulfilled a vital need in cancer treatment in the Tri-State area and beyond,” said Dr. Charles B. Simone, II, FACRO, Chief Medical Officer of the New York Proton Center. “I am grateful to my colleagues and our partner institutions who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to provide the highest quality cancer care to each and every patient, many of whom have turned to the New York Proton Center as their best and sometimes only chance of cure.”
“Proton therapy is an important treatment for complex cancers, and the New York Proton Center is an essential resource for these patients,” said Dr. Simon Powell, Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at MSK. “Patients should have access to the best treatment options available to them, and in many cases that is proton therapy. New Yorkers are fortunate to have a center of their own that is thriving in East Harlem.”
“It has never been more imperative to improve access to the most cutting-edge cancer care and tackle the barriers in obtaining this care that have traditionally plagued economically and socially marginalized communities,” said Dr. Shalom Kalnicki, professor and chair, Radiation Oncology, Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “The New York Proton Center provides a lifeline for people in need of the best radiation technology available – we couldn’t be prouder to be a partner in this important endeavor.”
“New Yorkers are lucky to have an institution like the New York Proton Center,” said Dr. Kenneth Rosenzweig, Chair of Radiation Oncology at Mount Sinai Health System. “In three years, the center has built a world-class team that is conducting important research to advance the field of proton therapy while providing exceptional care and treating a large number of patients with an advanced radiotherapy technology that few facilities in the world can offer.”
In addition to serving a growing patient population, NYPC is a world-leading research center and patient advocacy leader. NYPC Director of Research and Clinical Director, Dr. Isabelle Choi, chairs the National Association of Proton Therapy (NAPT) Physician Advisory Committee, which is dedicated to supporting research and patient awareness initiatives to promote access to proton therapy. Additionally, Dr. Simone is the President of the Board of the Proton Collaborative Group (PCG) and also Chairs the NRG Oncology Particle Therapy Work Group, leadership positions in both of the two largest cooperative groups conducting proton therapy research in the United States.
NYPC has distinguished itself for the depth and volume of research it is generating and sharing to fuel the growth of the industry at well-attended industry conferences such as the NAPT Annual Summit, the Particle Therapy Co-Operative Group (PTCOG) Annual Conference, the largest proton therapy meeting in the world, and the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting, the largest radiation oncology meeting in the world. This year, NYPC faculty will lead new consensus recommendations for treating spinal tumors, anorectal cancers, and thymic tumors with proton therapy, all of which promote the acceptance of proton therapy as an effective treatment for these conditions.
Looking ahead, the center is continuing to focus on its pioneering research developing FLASH therapy, which enables oncologists to deliver such concentrated, highly targeted doses of radiation that treatment may only last a matter of seconds when the current paradigm is weeks.