MedStar Georgetown Approved to Bring New Cutting Edge Cancer Treatment to the District

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital announced today it has received Certificate of Need approval from the D.C. State Health Planning and Development Agency to offer proton beam therapy to cancer patients in the District of Columbia. Patients in the District and the surrounding metropolitan area will greatly benefit from this technology.

May 31, 2013

One of Only 13 Facilities in the Country to Offer This Advanced Radiation Therapy and the Only Facility in the Region Treating Children as Well as Adults

(Washington, D.C.) – MedStar Georgetown University Hospital announced today it has received Certificate of Need approval from the D.C. State Health Planning and Development Agency to offer proton beam therapy to cancer patients in the District of Columbia. Patients in the District and the surrounding metropolitan area will greatly benefit from this technology. The proton beam center will be located at MedStar Georgetown’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Lombardi is the only center in the Washington Metropolitan area to earn the National Cancer Institute designation as a comprehensive cancer center which demonstrates MedStar Georgetown’s strength, expertise and multidisciplinary approach to cancer care to both adults and children,” said Richard Goldberg, MD, president, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. “Adding this technology to our already rich array of cancer treatments allows us to offer the greatest range of treatment options to patients.”

MedStar Georgetown will become one of only 13 facilities in the United States to offer this highly advanced form of radiation therapy that precisely targets and destroys cancer cells, sparing healthy cells, reducing side effects, improving patients’ cure rates, and reducing the chances of secondary cancers later in life.

MedStar Georgetown has approval for a single proton therapy vault, bringing the next level of radiation therapy to patients in the most cost effective and efficient way. “By building a one vault unit, MedStar Georgetown will be able to offer the technology to patients without the pressure to fill and fund a multi-vault program before we fully know the patient needs in our area. Adding this service allows us to create treatment plans that make the most sense for patients with particular cancers, and to provide the greatest number of care options, all close to home,” said Lisa Boyle, MD, MedStar Georgetown’s vice president, Medical Affairs.

“As the only cancer treatment provider in the region that serves both children as well as adults, we are thrilled we will be able to offer this cutting-edge, FDA approved therapy to all eligible patients,” said Dr. Goldberg. When completed, the $32 million therapy center will be part of a nearly 9,000 square foot proton therapy clinical office suite.

“To have this therapy available on our campus is a significant benefit, especially for our patients who can have access to the full continuum of care at the same location where they see their oncologist,” said Louis M. Weiner, MD, director of MedStar Georgetown’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and chair of the Department of Oncology at Georgetown University Medical Center. “Accessing this cutting-edge treatment close to home will be particularly life-changing for our pediatric patients and their families. Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center has a long history of offering children renowned comprehensive cancer services, which include art therapy, social services, dietary counseling, emotional and spiritual support, as well as the latest cancer therapies and clinical trials. And, the proton therapy program adds another tool for important Lombardi research that can lead to improved cancer outcomes.”

Having a proton therapy program based at an academic medical center like Georgetown allows us to educate and train the local medical community and medical residents on the technology, and to provide additional research opportunities for all types of cancer, while continuing to improve cancer outcomes overall.

The hospital plans to begin the construction on the proton therapy vault this fall and is expected to take one year.

About MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is a not-for-profit, acute-care teaching and research hospital with 609 beds located in Northwest Washington, D.C. Founded in the Jesuit principle of cura personalis—caring for the whole person—MedStar Georgetown is committed to offering a variety of innovative diagnostic and treatment options within a trusting and compassionate environment.

MedStar Georgetown’s centers of excellence include neurosciences, transplant, cancer and gastroenterology. Along with Magnet® nurses, internationally recognized physicians, advanced research and cutting-edge technologies, MedStar Georgetown’s healthcare professionals have a reputation for medical excellence and leadership. MedStar Georgetown University Hospital—Knowledge and Compassion Focused on You.

About MedStar Health

MedStar Health combines the best aspects of academic medicine, research and innovation with a complete spectrum of clinical services to advance patient care. As the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, MedStar’s 10 hospitals, the MedStar Health Research Institute and a comprehensive scope of health-related organizations are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. MedStar has one of the largest graduate medical education programs in the country, training more than 1,100 medical residents annually, and is the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University. MedStar Health is a $4.5 billion not-for-profit, regional healthcare system based in Columbia, Maryland, and one of the largest employers in the region. Its almost 30,000 associates and 6,000 affiliated physicians all support MedStar Health’s Patient First philosophy that combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service.