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Roberts Proton Therapy Center Celebrates 5 Years (Photos)

15Congratulations to the Roberts Proton Therapy Center on its five year anniversary! On Wednesday night, the department of Radiation Oncology held an event in the Smilow Center for Translational Research to celebrate this significant milestone with faculty, staff, Penn Medicine leadership, patients and their families, and the Roberts family, including University of Pennsylvania alumni Ralph J. Roberts and his wife Suzanne, who said a few words.

The event also honored the Penn Proton Alumni Group, which helps connect current and former patents for peer-to-peer support.

In 2006, Ralph and his son Brian L. Roberts donated $15 million to help create the Center. Four years later, the Center opened, and was one of only five in the country. Since that time, 14 are now operational and 10 more are under construction.  It’s one of the fastest-growing therapies for treating cancer, and Penn continues to be on top, said James Metz, MD, interim chair of the department of Radiation Oncology, who also spoke at the event. 

J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, Executive Vice President of the University for the Health System and Dean of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and Ralph Muller, CEO of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, were also in attendance.

While prostate cancer treatment was its primary use initially, Penn has significantly expanded the list of conditions treated with proton therapy, including cancers of the GI tract, head and neck, lung, and lymphoma. So far, the Center has treated nearly 3,000 patients.  Penn also created a proton training program, the only one of its kind in the world. “We’ve trained people from around the world,” Metz said, including Sweden, Poland, Korea and, soon, India.

Here is a slideshow of photos from the event on Wednesday, and check out the video below for a five-year retrospective of the Center.

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