Invested in Finding a Cure (As Seen on News 9)

Kelly Ogle:

Well, four months after shutting down, Oklahoma City’s first proton therapy center is back up and running, providing state of the art cancer care to patients from around the region and the world.

Amanda Taylor:

Our News 9’s Jessi Mitchell shows us how new owners are advancing the facility’s mission even further.

Jessi Mitchell:

This is now the Oklahoma Proton Center, paid for by Oklahomans who are invested in finding a cure and the proper care. For patients suffering with prostate cancer, this week finally feels like hope.

Dr. John Chang:

It’s like getting an x-ray.

Jessi Mitchell:

Doctors here are once again, able to offer them the most advanced radiation treatment available through proton therapy.

Daniel Keeslar:

It’s completely painless. It’s not invasive at all. And I feel completely comfortable here with the staff and with the whole procedure.

Jessi Mitchell:

The previous owners of the facility filed for bankruptcy in December, largely due to a lack of insurance coverage for the treatment. But locals decided to step in to help and are now actively working with insurers to expand coverage.

David Raubach:

These are individuals, businessmen that have some tie to the facility. They’ve either had family members treated here or friends treated here.

Jessi Mitchell:

The group purchased the center as is, keeping former staff and bringing on the country’s top doctors in the field like John Chang, who felt a personal responsibility to get it back up and running.

Dr. John Chang:

There are only 30 proton centers in the United States at this point and that’s a limited resource for a very advanced treatment for cancer and we can’t lose that.

Jessi Mitchell:

Lead researcher in the field, Chang now looks forward to working with students at OU on a number of upcoming studies.

Dr. John Chang:

Utilizing protons is critically important, especially in areas where you have a lot of vital structures within the region. The research that we’re doing here is going to be part of a collaboration on a national level to help us find the best treatment for patients for all types of cancers.

Jessi Mitchell:

Next week, the center will start serving patients with lung, brain, head and neck cancers. Breast cancer patients will be welcomed in the weeks to follow. In Northwest Oklahoma City, Jessi Mitchell, Oklahoma’s own News 9.