Build the proton centers

Build the proton centers

There are 14 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Aug 11, 2008, titled Build the proton centers. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

Last February, Northern Illinois University won state permission to build an expensive and advanced proton-therapy cancer-treatment center in the suburb of West Chicago .

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Chicago Tribune.


New York, NY

#1 Aug 11, 2008
Here, here!

Tucson, AZ

#3 Aug 11, 2008
Proton cancer therapy had it's beginnings in West Chicago, in the mid 20th century, at the Fermi Lab. It's been proving itself as an effective, point-specific cancer treatment since the early 90's, in Loma Linda, CA, where the Fermi technology found a entreprenurial home. Why the round about delay in re establishing this revolutionary cancer treatment on it's home ground? Entrenched political & economic priviledge, ie, unwanted competition to the exisitng medical protocols already in place, some of which are often not as effective.

Bring Proton back to Northern Illinois in a big way; two facilities may not be enough to answer the demand for this cancer tool. People in the know already travel to proton centers out-of-state, and live longer, healthier lives as a result.

Chicago, IL

#5 Aug 11, 2008
Are you kidding me?

There is no reason in this universe you need 2 proton facilities 6 miles apart.

They should build one in the south side of chicago where it would be better served.

Chicago, IL

#6 Aug 11, 2008
I have read that Protons are not yet proven against other forms of x-rays.

All they know it is great for pediatrics and brain tumor but it may prove to be just another expensive therapy for other tumors.

How will this affect our healthcare spending and over-utilization of technology if 2 centers are approved?

Are cancer patients going to fall prey to the over-marketing of proton therapy?
There are potentially lots of money at stake and so the lawyers will have a field day with this.
T Franklin

Babylon, NY

#7 Aug 11, 2008
One thing's for sure--Spending taxpayer dollars to build one of these is the wrong way to go. Let the private sector take the risk and foot the bill. If both get built, competition will determine the outcome. And for people fighting against cancer, they have more options instead of less. Over regulation and insane litigation are the wasteful drives of increased health care costs. When new technologies increase costs, it is in exhange for better treatment and cures, and that should be our goal all along.
Jim Evergreen Park


#9 Aug 11, 2008
My wife fought cancer for six months and died the middle of march. The opption for Proton Cancer Therapy wasn"t there for us. These politicans that are on theHealth Facilities Board are now trying to stop this marvelous procedure because it won"t be controled by them and the graft that a 140 million dollar can generate. They've got to be stoped. Peoples lives are at stake.
Mitch Carter

Buford, GA

#10 Aug 11, 2008
The Health Facilites Planning Board is corrupt and inefficent. They stiffle competion which hurts all Illinois residents. Before you know it we will all have to drive to Indiana or Wisconsin to get cutting edge, quality health care. These states are not as socialist as we here in Illinois and allow competion. If we don't watch out medical jobs will be escaping our borders for states that don't have corrupt Health Facility Planning Boards.

Tucson, AZ

#11 Aug 11, 2008
Proton therapy has been used very effctively for brain, neck & prostate cancers. Prostate cancer, especially, must be noted as every man is at risk. Personally, I know four fellows who are completely cured - with NO SIDE EFFECTS!! That is why there is such a paucity/confusion about this tool. It threatens established medical protocols, often financed by medical insiders. Ask your doctor about prostate therapies - if you have a sudden, high PSA. They will uniformly try to discourage you from inquiring further. The medicos are all in in the "take; this therapy WORKS with very little or NO side effects. Spread the word. Your urologist won't tell you.
Ann - Westmont

Westmont, IL

#12 Aug 11, 2008
As a cancer survivor that recently finished chemotherapy and radiation I feel that the Proton Center proposed by Central Dupage Hospital should be approved. I believe it should have been approved over the Northern Illinois University request. On one hand we have the Central Dupage Hospital group (private monies) that is willing to take the risk of getting this up and running and on the other hand we have a the center that was approved by the Health Facilities Planning Board (Illinois governmental body) approving a center using our tax monies. I ask you, which one if they started on September 1st would be finished first and within budget. Which one will have the top people physicians involved? If there is one way to have something work inefficiently is have the any part of the state of Illinois government involved.

There is a certificate of need for such a center even if they are relatively close. If todayís Board were voting would we Rush, Northwestern and University of Chicago be built? They are all hospitals close and treating the same diseases. Metropolitan Chicago is a wonderful place to get some of the best medical care and treatment in the world. People come not only from the surrounding states but from other countries. We are cutting edge. The proximity of the facilities to OíHare, Tri-State, I355, and I88 make it accessible to so many people.

By allowing both facilities to be built we donít make either one weaker we make them better. I feel they will drive each other to be more cost effective, have better survivor rates, and it will attract even more cutting edge medicine to the surrounding area.

Saint Louis, MO

#13 Aug 12, 2008
Fred wrote:
Are you kidding me?
There is no reason in this universe you need 2 proton facilities 6 miles apart.
They should build one in the south side of chicago where it would be better served.
There are five of these in the entire nation. Five. So its relative location in the United States to the South side is rather redundant, don't you think? There are reasons that the location on the north side was chosen in the first place, and we should be grateful that we have the opportunity to be as close as we are to these centers. People will be coming in from all over the country to use them.

Hopefully the Health board will understand that and stop impeding upon the market and well-being of thousands of cancer patients.

Elmhurst, IL

#14 Aug 12, 2008
I wonder whether proton therapy is being oversold? shouldn't it be cancer doctors pushing it instead of businessmen pushing it on patients?

just look at the pharmaceutical industry- they like to push new drugs with TV ads to make money but looked at what happened to celebrex and vioxx?

Birmingham, AL

#15 Aug 14, 2008
Eddie Naperville

Birmingham, AL

#16 Aug 14, 2008
To DENNIS GALINSKY MD: I have talked to my radiation oncologist and he said that proton therapy is far superior to regular radiation therapy. Illinois would be lucky to have two proton facilities.
It seems that 99% of the radiation oncologists in the country would love to have protons available for their patients. The other 1% are ones who don't stay updated with the current medical literature and worry about their pocket book. Sounds like Dr. Galinsky is part of that 1%.
This is another uninformed opinion by the Tribune's editorial Board. The Planning Board got it right. It is an unnecessary and duplicate facility that will only cause health expenditures to skyrocket. I find it interesting that this article quotes the business people and not the Radiation Oncology physicians in the Chicago Metro area. Protons are superior for Pediatric and certain Neurological malignancies. It otherwise has no proven benefit over other modern forms of radiation that are significantly less costly.
Dennis Galinsky MD FACRO
Radiation Oncologist
Du Page Oncology Center
Dennis Galinsky MD FACRO

Saint Louis, MO

#19 Aug 27, 2008
To Eddie:
I am in the 99% of physicians that wants protons available to my patients. Protons are superior for a limited number of diseases. The issue is that two facilities are wasteful and foolish. I suspect that 99% of Radiation Oncologists would agree. Those that don't need to have their motives examined.

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