SOMERSET, N.J.--()--After months of sinus discomfort, Noel Pagan finally visited an ear, nose and throat specialist that he passed on his daily walk to his midtown Manhattan workplace. On Aug. 3, 2012, the sinus trouble Pagan attributed to allergies was diagnosed as an extremely rare tumor, clival chordoma, at the base of his skull.
“I am glad that patients in the New York metro area are exploring their treatment options and are learning that proton therapy is now available at our center”
Pagan underwent surgery to remove the tumor at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, N.Y. Members of Pagan’s treatment team mentioned proton therapy as an option for his follow-up treatment because of the sensitive location of his tumor. Because neither Pagan nor his wife, Tracy, was familiar with the treatment, they researched it further.
For Noel, it was a video he found online featuring Frank Mackinson, a cancer survivor and the first patient treated at ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Somerset, N.J., that convinced him proton therapy was the right choice.
“Seeing someone else go through the process – putting the mask on his face, lying down on the table for treatment – and experiencing minimal side effects was encouraging,” Pagan said. “Knowing that another man underwent treatment and is doing well was hugely important for me.”
Mr. Pagan was referred from Mount Sinai Hospital to Dr. Oren Cahlon, an MSKCC-trained radiation oncologist and Medical Director at ProCure New Jersey, to see whether he would benefit from proton therapy. “Clival chordomas are rare tumors near the base of the brain and skull that can be difficult to treat with standard radiation therapy,” explained Dr. Cahlon. “These tumors are ideal targets for the highly precise nature of proton therapy to reduce the risk of tumor recurrence and minimize damage to the brain and visual nerves.”
Pagan began therapy in mid-November 2012 and completed his 41 outpatient treatments in January 2013. He looks forward to a full recovery and returning to work and to his two children with renewed energy.
“I am glad that patients in the New York metro area are exploring their treatment options and are learning that proton therapy is now available at our center,” said Dr. Cahlon.
Proton therapy offers an unmatched combination of power and precision. Unlike traditional radiation that relies on X-rays that penetrate well beyond tumors, proton therapy precisely targets tumors. As a result, only the tumor is irradiated, minimizing the effects on the surrounding healthy tissue. Studies have shown proton therapy to be effective in treating many types of tumors in sensitive areas of the body, including brain, central nervous system, gastrointestinal, head and neck, lung and prostate, as well as sarcomas and many pediatric cancers. While chordomas represent a one-in-a-million diagnosis (300 Americans are diagnosed with chordomas each year), ProCure New Jersey has successfully treated six chordoma patients in just the past few months.
For more information about proton therapy at ProCure Proton Therapy, visit www.procure.com/nj or call 732-204-7398.
About ProCure Treatment Centers, Inc.
ProCure Treatment Centers, Inc. is a privately held health care company dedicated to improving the lives of patients with cancer by increasing access to proton therapy. The company was founded in 2005 in Bloomington, Ind., and is the first to develop a network of proton therapy centers in cities across the United States. The ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Oklahoma City opened in July 2009, the CDH Proton Center, A ProCure Center, located in Warrenville, Ill., opened in October 2010 and the ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Somerset, N.J., opened in March 2012. ProCure’s fourth center is under construction in Seattle, Wash. (opening 2013) and others are in development. ProCure provides management leadership and a comprehensive approach for the design, construction, financing, staffing, training and day-to-day operations of proton therapy centers. ProCure’s solution reduces the time, cost and effort necessary to build and operate a facility. ProCure is advancing proton therapy through innovation and improvements in technology, and by providing training at the world’s only educational facility specializing in proton therapy. For more information, visit www.procure.com.