WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Hartford HealthCare and Yale New Haven Health are teaming up to bring a new center with a cutting edge way to treat cancer to Wallingford.
A new proton therapy center that could potentially save kids battling cancer.
“We want them to live a normal life with as few long-term side effects as possible,” said Dr. Andrew Salner, medical director of the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute.
It does not look like much now but leaders at both health care systems plan to bring the center here along Northrop Road.
80% of pediatric cancer patients need proton therapy. It is a specialized form of radiation mostly used on tumors in children.
“The studies not only show that protons work more effectively than conventional radiation, but the paradox is that the actual cost may be lower, because even though the cost of protons is expensive, they don’t have the long-term side effects,” Salner said. “The radiation enters the body at a very low level and then deposits all the energy on the tumor and then there’s no radiation that exits the area. So it really enables us to limit substantially the dose of radiation to the surrounding tissues.”
Right now, if patients need this treatment, they have to go to hospitals in New York or Boston.
The center in Wallingford is slated to open up in 2025.