January 06, 2020
Kansas City, Kan. — Today we announced another major milestone in our efforts to bring proton therapy to academic medicine in Kansas City. This advanced form of targeted radiation treatment uses protons instead of X-rays to attack cancerous tumors.
Our proton therapy services will be located next to the Richard and Annette Bloch Radiation Oncology Pavilion on our main campus in Kansas City. The land is owned by the University of Kansas Medical Center and will be leased by the health system.
The location is currently the site of the university's Spencer Chapel. The university determined it would discontinue use of this facility due to significant disrepair. Plans are underway to identify an alternative location for a new spiritual home. Specific items of sentimental value in the chapel have been removed for possible display in the future, and demolition of the chapel is underway.
Patient parking at the front entrance of the Richard and Annette Bloch Radiation Oncology Pavilion is no longer available, and free valet parking is now being provided.
Experienced team to lead construction
The health system selected the joint venture of McCownGordon & Linbeck as its construction partners. Kansas City-based McCownGordon Construction has proven experience with highly technical healthcare projects. Linbeck, headquartered in Texas, has built several proton therapy facilities.
Construction will begin in coming weeks.
New medical director for proton therapy
The health system also recently welcomed a new director of proton therapy. Ronny Rotondo, MDCM, FRCPC, previously practiced at the University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute and specializes in the management of pediatric malignancies, adult brain tumors, base of skull and spine tumors, and soft tissue and bone sarcomas.
Dr. Rotondo's research interests include leveraging proton therapy dosimetric advantages to improve the long-term outcomes and lessen the acute and late effects of radiotherapy, particularly in children and young adults. His extensive experience in pediatric and adult proton therapy treatment will be a significant to patients.
"I am tremendously excited to join The University of Kansas Health System and to have the opportunity to play a leading role in bringing the most advanced form of targeted radiation therapy to Kansas City and the region," says Dr. Rotondo. "With our ongoing commitment to offering world-class cancer care right here in Kansas City, proton therapy will benefit adult and pediatric patients alike and further advance our research and education missions as one of the nation's leading academic medical centers."
The health system first announced plans to bring proton therapy treatment to Kansas City in February 2019. IBA's Proteus®ONE system was announced as the technology vendor last July.
Learn more about proton therapy from the National Association for Proton Therapy.