Inova Schar Cancer Institute Treats First Patient using Proton Therapy in Northern Virginia

FAIRFAX, Va., March 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- On March 26, a local cancer patient was the first to complete proton therapy treatment in Northern Virginia at the Inova Mather Proton Therapy Center in Fairfax. Located at the Inova Schar Cancer Institute, a department of Fairfax Inova Hospital, the Inova Mather Proton Therapy Center is the first proton therapy treatment center in Northern Virginia. Comprised of two treatment rooms, Inova Schar Cancer Institute's new facility combines the cutting-edge technique of proton delivery known as pencil beam scanning with the most advanced patient imaging and positioning systems in the region. The opening of the center offers residents this highly specialized cancer treatment option close to home, and means that they will no longer have to travel to receive the most advanced form of radiation therapy.

"Unlike traditional forms of radiation, proton therapy targets tumors with unparalleled precision, sparing up to 60% more adjacent healthy tissue," said Gopal K. Bajaj, MD, MBA Chairman and Medical Director of Radiation Oncology at Inova Schar Cancer Institute. "Proton therapy has the potential to have a positive impact on both cancer control and quality of life, two things we are always seeking to improve for our patients. This treatment is especially useful for children who need radiation therapy and patients who require radiation in areas which have been previously irradiated."

"We are proud that with the addition of proton therapy, Inova Schar Cancer Institute offers yet another cutting-edge treatment to patients in Northern Virginia," said John Deeken, MD, President of the Inova Schar Cancer Institute. "Proton therapy is another aspect of the exceptional cancer care that we offer in one location, backed by our multidisciplinary approach of cancer specialists."

The Radiation Oncology Department at Inova Schar Cancer Institute was the first in the country to receive the prestigious four-year accreditation for radiation oncology quality and safety from ASTRO's Accreditation Program for Excellence (APEx®) in 2015. The opening of the Inova Mather Proton Therapy Center is a continuation of that excellence. The opening of The Inova Mather Proton Therapy Center culminates a six-year journey from concept to clinical execution for the health system and was made possible thanks to grateful patients, Dr. Gary and Tina Mather, who donated $20 million to further cancer treatment at Inova Schar.

About Inova

Inova is Northern Virginia's leading nonprofit healthcare provider, recognized in 2019 by U.S. News & World Report, which named Inova Fairfax Hospital the #1 hospital in the Washington, DC region. All five Inova hospitals were awarded 'A' grades for the fall 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades, recognizing Inova's achievements in protecting patients from harm and providing safer healthcare. Each of Inova's five hospitals hold 5-star ratings from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), distinguishing Inova as the highest rated large health system in the U.S. Our mission is to provide world-class healthcare - every time, every touch - to each person in every community we have the privilege to serve. Inova's 18,000 team members serve more than 2 million individuals annually through an integrated network of hospitals, primary and specialty care practices, emergency and urgent care centers, outpatient services and destination institutes. Inova is home to Northern Virginia's only Level 1 Trauma Center and Level 4 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Its hospitals have a total of 1,800 licensed beds. More information and statistics about Inova can be found at

Rachael Gleason (Communications Manager, Inova Center for Personalized Health)


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