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Jax Daily Record Monday, Jun. 24, 201910:36 AM EST

Mayo Clinic to build $233 million proton beam therapy facility

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The facility will be Jacksonville’s third proton treatment facility, the most of any city in the U.S.
by: Katie Garwood Staff Writer

Mayo Clinic announced Monday it would construct a 140,000-square-foot, $233 million integrated oncology facility that will include proton beam therapy at its Jacksonville campus. 

Building design for the project will begin later this year, with construction to be completed by late 2022. The goal is by the end of 2023, the facility will be ready for patients. 

“This facility will give us the ability to offer our patients the full spectrum of cancer treatment options, including chemotherapy, immunotherapy, CAR-T cell therapy (chimeric antigen receptor therapy T cell therapy), surgery, proton beam therapy, gamma knife radiosurgery and traditional radiotherapy,” said Kent Thielen, CEO of Mayo Clinic in Florida. “It will also give patients access to proton beam therapy clinical trials offered through our National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center.”      

The building, advanced radiation equipment and proton beam will cost $211 million. Parking and walkways will cost $22 million.

Mayo Clinic’s Proton Beam Therapy Program will be the third in Jacksonville, the most of any city in the United States. UF Health and the Ackerman Cancer Center also offer proton beam therapy.

When the project is completed, Mayo Clinic Jacksonville will become the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Florida to offer proton therapy, Thielen said. Mayo Clinic is one of only two NCI Comprehensive Care Centers in the state. 

Proton radiotherapy in cancer treatment allows for more careful and precise treatment compared with traditional radiotherapy. It presents an alternative, or addition, to surgery, chemotherapy and traditional radiation.

The system uses pencil beam scanning, which is ideal for patients with tumors close to, or in, vital organs, those who are sensitive to the side effects of radiation, and pediatric cancer patients. 

Thielen said the facility will also add a chemotherapy infusion center, as well as other radiotherapy technologies that include a linear accelerator, which can treat tumors prone to moving during treatment.

It will be near the Mangurian Building, which houses hematology, oncology and the Oncology Infusion Center, which will further integrate cancer care on the Jacksonville campus. 

Mayo Clinic introduced the program to its campuses in Rochester, Minnesota, in 2015, and Phoenix in 2016.

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