Hybrid Cancer Care at the Willis-Knighton Cancer Center

Integrated Proton System Promotes Hybrid Cancer Care.

The Willis-Knighton Cancer Center in Shreveport, Louisiana, is one of the first facilities in the United States to install a new single-room compact Proton Therapy room. Unlike larger systems, it has a small footprint (49 feet x 95 feet or 14.9 meters x 28.9 meters), allowing it to be easily incorporated into an existing facility and help broaden treatment offerings.

The Proton Therapy center is part of a $40 million addition immediately adjacent to the existing cancer center, including more offices and expanded chemotherapy infusion and medical oncology spaces.

“The vault and treatment planning areas are only one-fifth of the new construction footprint, which highlights how compact it really is,” said Lane R. Rosen, M.D., Director of Radiation Oncology at the Willis-Knighton Cancer Center.

Lane R. Rosen, M.D.

“Having all types of treatment in one place will allow us to integrate therapies and make treatment more convenient,” said Rosen. “I can definitely see a role for a proton boost as a way to minimize side effects while keeping costs reasonable. We’re looking forward to making Proton Therapy a reality for more patients.”

The use of Proton Therapy along with chemotherapy is also becoming more widely accepted. “This combination allows us to spare bone marrow and avoid complications, such as esophagitis and concurrent radiation pneumonitis — all things that limit our ability to deliver the best therapy,” said Rosen. “It’s difficult to coordinate Proton Therapy and chemotherapy if they’re not in the same facility.”

The planned addition to the Willis-Knighton Cancer Center incorporates a compact, single-room Proton Therapy facility.

The center expects to draw patients from Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas, treating between 20 and 25 patients a day. “Although Proton Therapy is more commonly used for prostate, brain and pediatric cases, we anticipate using it for other body sites as well,” said Rosen.