University Operating Status

Proton beam radiation therapy represents a significant advance in cancer treatment options for region's residents

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJ) has announced the arrival of the Laurie Proton Therapy Center – the first proton beam radiation treatment center of its kind in the New Jersey and New York region. Proton beam radiation therapy on RWJ’s academic medical campus in New Brunswick, New Jersey, represents a significant advance in the range of cancer treatment options currently available to New Jersey and New York residents.

Proton therapy is now part of a comprehensive range of advanced cancer treatment options offered by RWJ in partnership with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and private physicians in the community. RWJ New Brunswick is the flagship hospital of Rutgers Cancer Institute. Bruce G Haffty, professor and chair of radiation oncology at Rutgers Cancer Institute, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, leads the program with Atif J. Khan, medical director of the Laurie Proton Therapy Center at RWJ, radiation oncologist at Rutgers Cancer Institute and associate professor of radiation oncology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Traditionally, proton therapy systems have had a footprint larger than a football field. The MEVION S250 housed at the Laurie Proton Therapy Center on RWJ's academic medical campus is 75 percent smaller and uses 90 percent less energy than traditional systems.

Traditionally, proton therapy systems have had a footprint larger than a football field and cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build and operate. But the traditional model is not financially or spatially accessible for the large majority of cancer treatment sites, which can limit access to this important advance in cancer treatment.

Manufactured by Mevion Medical Systems, The MEVION S250 housed at the Laurie Proton Therapy Center on RWJ’s academic medical campus is 75 percent smaller, uses 90 percent less energy and has significantly lower capital and operating costs than traditional systems.

Proton therapy provides targeted treatment to cancer cells and causes less damage to surrounding healthy tissues than photon radiation, making it an alternate option for pediatric and adult patients with tumors in sensitive locations, such as near the heart, brain and spine. 

“Proton therapy is an excellent addition to the breadth of cancer treatment destination therapies that are available through our hospital in partnership with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and private physicians in the community,” said Stephen K. Jones, president and chief executive officer of RWJ and Robert Wood Johnson Health System.