Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin Health Network broke ground at Wauwatosa Campus on a structure that will house an expensive proton therapy system for cancer patients.
In May 2022, Froedtert & the Medical College, a division of the University of Pennsylvania, announced that it had partnered with Legion Healthcare Partners of Houston. The Houston-based company is assisting in feasibility, design, construction, as well as implementing, managing, and coordinating the new system. Mevion Medical Systems, Littleton Massachusetts, announced in October 2022 that it had signed a contract to install the MEVION S250i Proton therapy system at the site.
A spokesperson for Froedtert & the Medical College refused to reveal the cost of the project.
According to HealthCareBusiness News, most proton therapy centers spend $40 to $50 million on their systems. Dr. Paul Harari is the chair of the Department of Human Oncology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
UW Health announced plans in May 2022 for a $60-million project in Madison, with Leo Cancer Care of Middleton. The project will deliver proton therapy by using technology that allows patients to sit upright.
The proton therapy system will be installed at the Froedtert Campus in a new vault structure, adjacent to the Cancer Center east of Froedtert Hospital. The spokeswoman stated that the total project square footage was 18,654 sq ft, with approximately 9,400 sq ft dedicated to vault construction.
In May 2022, Froedtert & MCW announced that the first patient treatment would be in 2024. The latest update, however, calls for patients to be treated in the first half 2025.
Froedtert and the Medical College stated that the addition of proton radiation therapy will allow adult cancer patients to receive precision radiation therapy without having to travel to another state.
Froedtert & MCW offers adults treatment using the MEVION system S250i and will collaborate with Children's Wisconsin for pediatric proton therapy.
According to the National Association for Proton Therapy, there are 42 proton therapy centers in the United States. Legion Healthcare Partners and Mevion Medical Systems are members of the association.
The proton therapy uses high-energy beams to deliver a precise dose of radiation to the tumor. Froedtert and the Medical College reported that proton-based treatments can deliver high dose radiation that conforms with the shape of the tumor while avoiding the healthy tissues and organs located near the tumor.
Froedtert and the Medical College reported that this will result in better cancer control, improved quality of life, and reduced side effects, as well as fewer second malignancies due to treatment.