Press release: Provision Center for Proton Therapy Names Medical Director: Board-Certified Radiation Oncologist Will Lead Tennessee’s First Proton Center

The Provision Center for Proton Therapy announced today it has named Marcio Fagundes, M.D., as medical director.  A board-certified radiation oncologist, he comes to Knoxville from the ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Oklahoma City where he has practiced proton therapy and conducted significant research.  He will start his new role on July 15.

“The addition of Dr. Fagundes as medical director is another important step in building our team of proton therapy experts,” said Mary Lou DuBois, President of Provision Center for Proton Therapy.  “He is an extremely knowledgeable and experienced radiation oncologist and will be an invaluable asset to the proton center and its patients.”

Dr. Fagundes will be joining Provision Medical Group, led by Allen Meek, M.D., radiation oncologist and U.S. News and World Report “Top Doctor.” Dr. Fagundes first became interested in proton therapy during his internship and residency at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he had the opportunity to guest intern at Harvard University. Upon completion of his residency, he went back to Harvard Medical School for his fellowship, where he began treating patients with proton therapy in 1993.

Dr. Fagundes was an assistant professor at TUFTS University in Boston, where he developed protocols for treatment and retreatment using a new modality, IMRT, which at the time was not yet FDA approved. He is currently the principal investigator in Oklahoma for the University of Pennsylvania’s retreatment protocol using proton therapy. He earned his medical degree at Universidade Federal do RGS in Porto Alegre, Brazil, where he is originally from.

“I am extremely honored to be able to introduce patients to proton therapy in Knoxville,” said Marcio Fagundes, M.D., medical director of the Provision Center for Proton Therapy.  “One of the most rewarding aspects of being a proton therapy radiation oncologist is seeing patients who have been able to resume normal, active lives as cancer survivors.  The opportunity to relocate to Knoxville and to provide proton therapy to this area is a privilege.”

The Provision Center for Proton Therapy will begin treating patients in early 2014.  Prior to opening, Dr. Fagundes will be educating local and regional physicians and community members about how to become involved with the center and about the benefits of proton therapy, the most advanced cancer treatment in the world.  Protons are routinely employed in treatment of various disease sites including prostate, pediatric, sarcoma, brain, lung, and breast cancers.  Dr. Fagundes will spearhead proton therapy clinical research trials and retreatment protocols at Provision Center for Proton Therapy.

The Provision Center for Proton Therapy is part of Provision Health Alliance’s comprehensive outpatient cancer treatment campus located just off Middlebrook Pike at Dowell Springs.

“The unique setting of Knoxville’s proton center is unlike any other in the country or even the world,” said Dr. Fagundes, M.D.  “The comprehensive campus at Dowell Springs is both patient and physician-friendly and is the new model for future healthcare delivery.”

A frequent speaker on proton therapy, Dr. Fagundes has published dozens of articles in peer reviewed journals.  Most recently, he developed a “Phase II Study of Post-operative, Cardiac Sparing Proton Radiotherapy for women with Stage III, Loco-Regional, Non-metastatic Breast Cancer,” in collaboration with Dr. Eugen Hug at ProCure. The results showing the advantages of proton therapy in cardiac and coronary artery sparing were accepted to the PTCOG (Proton Therapy Co-Operative Group) and ASTRO (American Society of Therapeutic Radiation Oncologists) meetings this year.

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About Provision Center for Proton Therapy Opening in early 2014, the Provision Center for Proton Therapy will be the first of its kind in Tennessee and only the second in the Southeast. Proton therapy, the most advanced form of radiotherapy in the world, uses a single beam of high-energy protons to treat various forms of cancer.  Different from conventional radiation therapy — in which beam energy dissipates as it passes through the body — proton beams can be fine-tuned with millimeters of accuracy to deliver maximum energy within the controlled range of the cancerous tumor.

Open to all credentialed physicians and health systems in the region, the Provision Center for Proton Therapy will have three treatment rooms and will be able to treat up to 1,000 cancer patients annually, and will bring in many patients from outside the area.  The center brings to Knoxville an advanced cancer treatment capability that presently is available in only a handful of cities. When completed, it will be one of only 14 in the nation.