First cancer patients in Tennessee receive proton therapy

First cancer patients in Tennessee receive proton therapy in Knoxville


KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Three prostate cancer patients became the first in Tennessee Monday to receive proton therapy.

Provision Center for Proton Therapy says two men from Knoxville and one from North Carolina were treated Monday at the Dowell Springs campus.

Provision says the campus is the first proton therapy facility in Tennessee.

Joe Hamby from Knoxville was one of the three patients to undergo the non-invasive and precise treatment, according to a release from Provision.

"I researched it and knew I wanted proton therapy," said Hamby. "I initially planned on going to another proton center 500 miles away until I learned there was one right in my backyard. It's a blessing to have Provision Center for Proton Therapy right here in our community."

Proton therapy uses a single beam of high-energy protons to treat various forms of cancer, such as prostate, pediatric, sarcoma, brain, lung, and breast cancers. 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.

6 News has been following the development of the center in West Knoxville, which included the installation of a massive cyclotron device to create the proton beam.

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