BayCare Health System’s St Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa Bay, Florida, US, is set to open the region’s first proton radiation therapy centre.

The initiative is facilitated through a $33m investment by BayCare.

Proton therapy is a precise radiation treatment that uses protons instead of X-rays to target cancerous tumours, minimising radiation exposure to healthy tissue.

BayCare has selected Mevion Medical Systems to provide its MEVION S250-FIT Proton Therapy System.

According to the vendor, the system with a compact design allows faster installation and cost-efficiency.

In addition, it is claimed to have advanced features such as HYPERSCAN Pencil Beam Scanning and supports emerging technologies including ARC therapy and FLASH therapy.

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As per a press statement, the MEVION S250-FIT Proton Therapy System is not yet available for clinical use.

This treatment is expected to be available by late 2025 at St Joseph’s Hospital’s Fred J Woods Radiation Therapy Center.

BayCare president and CEO Stephanie Conners said: “Proton therapy is the most technologically advanced type of cancer treatment and is proven to improve outcomes in cancer care; however, it is not yet widely available.

“BayCare is bringing the first proton radiation therapy centre to Tampa so patients in our community don’t have to drive to Orlando or beyond to get this level of high-quality care.”

The BayCare network extends across four counties, operating hospitals, surgery centres, breast centres, radiation services, mastectomy resources, infusion and chemotherapy centres, oncology physician offices, patient resources, and support group locations.

Located at 3001 West Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, St Joseph’s Hospital is a 615-bed facility that treats heart, cancer, vascular, and neuro issues, among others.

Currently, the Fred J Woods Radiation Therapy Center at St Joseph’s Hospital treats over 900 patients annually using a variety of radiation therapy treatments and the latest equipment.