Milestone reflects the fastest growth trajectory of any proton center in the United States
New York, NY (February 13, 2023) — The New York Proton Center (NYPC), the New York City-based proton therapy facility established in partnership by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Montefiore Health System and Mount Sinai Health System, today announced the treatment of its 3,000th patient. The milestone, reached in fewer than three and a half years, reflects the center’s record-setting growth as the only provider of proton therapy in New York State. Proton therapy offers a targeted form of radiotherapy shown to improve quality of life and health outcomes for patients with a range of complex cancer conditions.
“This milestone is evidence not only of proton therapy’s efficacy, but also of the high-quality care that our team provides,” said Jonathan Weinbach, Chief Executive Officer of the New York Proton Center. “The immense growth NYPC has achieved in a short period of time speaks to the transformative impact of proton therapy for so many people. In addition to continuing to identify the patients who will benefit most from proton treatment, we remain committed to increasing awareness and accessibility for proton therapy more broadly through our industry-leading research with academic partners across the United States.”
NYPC announced the treatment of its 2,000th patient less than a year ago and remains the fastest growing of the 41 proton centers in the United States. Not only does NYPC treat the most complex case mix of any center nationally, it has also distinguished itself as an industry leader in research, with more than 97% of patients treated enrolled on clinical trials that are helping to advance science and broaden access to proton therapy.
“Our ability to continue to grow our patient volume amid the pandemic to again be the nation’s fastest-growing proton center and now become one of the busiest proton centers in the world is a testament to the strength of our entire team, as well as our modality-leading proton therapy technology. Our advanced radiotherapy resources are especially critical for people with complex cancers,” said Dr. Charles B. Simone II, FACRO, Chief Medical Officer of the New York Proton Center. “Our center treats a uniquely diverse and complex range of cases, and it is so very rewarding to see first-hand just how life-changing this type of treatment has been for a wide variety of patients.”
Ted Lelek of Fairfield, Connecticut is the center’s 3,000th proton therapy patient. Mr. Lelek was treated by Dr. Stanislav Lazarev who is affiliated with Mount Sinai Health System and the New York Proton Center for a meningioma tumor that was surgically removed at Mount Sinai prior to proton therapy at NYPC.
“My experience at the New York Proton Center was second to none, and I am so grateful to have had such a consummate care team by my side for every step of my treatment,” said Ted Lelek, NYPC’s 3,000th patient. “From the moment I first walked through the doors, it was evident that this is a state-of-the-art facility that is simply unmatched in its field. The success of its consortium-driven model of partnering with three of the region’s most prestigious medical institutions has clearly paid off, and I could not have felt more attended to or taken care of by everyone on staff. And, as a resident of Fairfield County, its convenient location right off of the Metro-North made my entire care experience seamless.”
While NYPC’s patient population is predominantly based in the Tri-State Region, patients travel from across the US and overseas to receive care at the center. The case mix of patients treated is wide-ranging and reflects proton therapy’s efficacy in treating complex cases and cancers near sensitive organs. In 2022, 43% of cases treated at NYPC were head and neck cancers, 11% were pediatric patients, 11% were breast cancer patients, and 10% were lung cancer cases. Proton therapy is particularly crucial in the treatment of cancers around sensitive organs due to its precision and ability to target tumors directly while better sparing normal tissues in the immediate surrounding areas.
Proton therapy is often the safest and most effective way to re-treat tumors that previously received radiation, and 43% of NYPC’s patients received reirradiation and a new chance of cure, the highest proportion in the industry.
“We are proud that our patient is part of such a special milestone for the New York Proton Center,” said Dr. Kenneth Rosenzweig, Chair of Radiation Oncology for the Mount Sinai Health System. “New Yorkers are lucky to have an institution like the New York Proton Center that is conducting important research to advance the field of proton therapy while providing exceptional care and treating a large number of patients with an advanced radiotherapy technology that few facilities in the world can offer.”
“Now, because of the New York Proton Center, people throughout our region have more equitable access to the most sophisticated radiation technology than ever before,” said Dr. Shalom Kalnicki, Professor and Chair, Radiation Oncology, Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Associate Director, Clinical Affairs, Montefiore Einstein Cancer Center. “By partnering together, we are also elevating the science behind protons and ushering in a new era of care that leads to better outcomes and better quality of life for people who previously had few options.”
“The New York Proton Center has quickly distinguished itself as the preeminent proton therapy provider and we are proud to be a partner institution,” said Simon Powell, MD, PhD, Chair of Radiation Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “With the treatment of its 3,000th patient in just three-and-a-half years since its opening, NYPC has proven the success of the consortium-model of providing care many times over. Congratulations to NYPC’s staff for their unwavering commitment to providing the best care in the industry.”
About the New York Proton Center
The New York Proton Center is creating the gold standard for proton therapy, giving new hope to patients living with cancer. In partnership with leading academic medical centers—Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Montefiore Health System, Mount Sinai Health System—the New York Proton Center brings together expert oncologists, clinical care teams, and researchers to improve cancer care and advance the clinical evidence for proton therapy.