Precision Insider: Volume 8

“With the opening of a brachytherapy program, OPC becomes one of just a few facilities in the country that can offer IMRT, proton therapy, and brachytherapy for prostate cancer thus creating a prostate cancer center of excellence.”

-David Raubach, Chief Development Officer

Our goal at Oklahoma Proton Center has been to provide the best possible care for patients. With proton therapy, we have the most precise form of radiation available today and one that is the best option for many cancers. We also have a state-of-the-art linear accelerator called a TomoTherapy machine that enables us to offer the best possible intensity-modulated photon therapy for patients. Brachytherapy is another type of radiation treatment that can be beneficial for certain cancers, including prostate cancer.

Brachytherapy involves the placement of small radioactive seeds in the prostate. These seeds emit radiation over a period of time, thus killing the cancer. Brachytherapy can be used as a stand-alone treatment for prostate cancer or in conjunction with external beam radiation, such as proton therapy. This combo treatment can be especially beneficial for high-risk prostate cancer patients.

To date, brachytherapy has been an option for prostate cancer patients in Oklahoma City only at other hospitals. This month Oklahoma Proton Center officially opened up a brachytherapy program and successfully completed treatment on our first brachytherapy patient. The procedure, led by our Medical Director, Dr. John Chang, in partnership with a urologist, Dr. Charles Snyder, took about an hour to complete.

With the opening of a brachytherapy program, Oklahoma Proton Center becomes one of just a few facilities in the country that can offer IMRT, Proton Therapy, and Brachytherapy for prostate cancer, thus creating a Prostate Cancer Center of Excellence. We are excited to be able to offer this additional treatment to patients and continue our mission of providing the best options and all of the options for patients seeking care.

The top cancers in the world remain prostate cancer in men, breast cancer in women, and lung cancer in both men and women. Treatments have evolved in many ways, from robotic surgery to targeted systemic therapy instead of or in conjunction with chemotherapy. Radiation has also evolved to become more effective and cause fewer side effects with the advancement of proton radiation through cutting-edge research. Recently published peer- reviewed articles have demonstrated how proton therapy is leading the way in providing the best and safest cancer treatment.

In prostate cancer, a 2021 study of over 275,000 patients from the national cancer database (NCDB) revealed that proton therapy provided at least a 10% improvement in overall survival from prostate cancer over regular photon radiation with intensity modulation (IMRT) and brachytherapy (implanted seed radiation). A 2020 Mayo Clinic study revealed that the observation of radiation dose to the bladder, rectum, and large intestines was significantly reduced. Thus, less radiation exposure equals less chance of side effects.

In breast cancer, in a 2020 study of treatment with advanced disease, proton radiation reduced the risk of radiation caused 2nd cancer in the lungs, heart, and opposite breast compared to regular photon radiation. Also, there was a 9-fold dose reduction to the lungs, a 7.5-fold reduction in heart dose, and most importantly 15 fold reduction in dose to the left anterior descending coronary (heart) artery. This is why so many women can have a higher risk of heart “events” after standard radiation to the chest wall/breast, especially left-sided cancers.

In lung cancer, a 2017 NCDB and 2021 Mayo Clinic studies revealed that overall survival in advanced lung cancer requiring radiation was dramatically increased with proton radiation over standard photon IMRT. Additionally, there were higher rates of esophagus, lung, and heart side effects with IMRT.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. We are discovering the advantages more and more with the studies and research we are doing and publishing from our facility and our collaborations with all of our colleagues around the globe. Please feel free to reach out to us to see if proton therapy is the right treatment for you or anyone affected by this horrible disease.

Erin Hines

Finding Hope

My name is Erin Hines.
I am 41 years old, and I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in April 2022 at the age of 40.

When you get diagnosed with cancer, you are suddenly thrown into this world I never thought I would be in, or at least not at my age. This world of fast learning, fast decisions, tests, more tests, more decisions, lots of waiting, surgery, and treatment plans, while the rest of the world keeps going, can be a lot.

What I loved and didn’t know I would find and didn’t know I even needed was EXACTLY what I found at the Oklahoma Proton Center.

Yes, treatment plans, wonderful staff, radiation therapists, and doctors who cared about me. But more than all that, I always found a friendly “Hello!” Radiation therapists, with fun discussions each week about “Waffle Wednesdays” and “Tell a Joke Tuesdays,” made it doable.

“How are you feeling today” …when they could tell I wasn’t feeling my best. And a “Let’s turn your music up today” to help distract me from the pain. A puzzle table, a welcome new patient luncheon, and friendly conversation in the lobby created a community of hope.

I felt a genuine and honest desire to help me beat cancer so I could keep living and loving on our precious twin girls, husband, and family. My time at the Oklahoma Proton Center wasn’t always easy, but it was ALWAYS the best and perfect place for me.


Patient Services Manager; Oklahoma Proton Center

“People who wonder if the glass is half full or half empty miss the point. The glass is refillable. My job at OPC refills my glass daily!”

If you’ve been to the Center recently, you may have been greeted by Heather Bay’s smiling face. Heather recently filled the position of Patient Services Manager. The Patient Services Manager is an integral part of Oklahoma Proton Center. Overseeing the Patient Services team, interacting and engaging with patients, and executing various advocacy and survivorship events, this was no easy position to fill. With a background in healthcare and an innate ability to make others feel welcome, Heather has been an incredible addition to our patient services department.

Heather was raised in Stillwater, Oklahoma, until moving to Edmond to earn her Bachelor of Science degree in Organization Management from Oklahoma Christian University. In 2019 Heather obtained her LPN license.

Heather began her career in healthcare as a Pharmacy Technician. From there, she has worked in facilities specializing in Family Practice, OBGYN, Cardiology and Emergency, and Occupational Medicine.

Heather has three adult children and has been married for 29 years.

“I love my role as the Patient Services Manager because I can help people during challenging times in their lives. The relationships I have developed with the patients have taught me so much about life, love, friendship, and, most importantly, faith. I am honored to work at the Oklahoma Proton Center.

People who wonder if the glass is half full or half empty miss the point. The glass is refillable. My job at OPC refills my glass daily!”

We are thrilled to have Heather on staff at Oklahoma Proton Center and know she will be an incredible asset to the team. Welcome, Heather!



Proton Pals Foundation Annual Golf Tournament: Friday, June 2nd, 2023, at Kickingbird Golf Course

Proton Pals Survivor Night Baseball Game: Sunday, June 18th, 2023, at Bricktown Ball Park


Proton Pals Foundation helps put on several events throughout the year. While many of these events are celebrations or graduations for cancer patients, many events are fundraising opportunities to raise money to help underwrite our programs and services.

Join us on Friday, June 2nd, at Kickingbird Golf Course as we DRIVE OUT CANCER to raise awareness and resources for Proton Pals Foundation.

Please visit to register.


Proton Pals is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) public charity with the mission to create and develop positive relationships that make a difference in the lives of proton therapy patients while assisting patients and their families with financial, psychological, and physical support that will enhance and improve their quality of life.

Proton Pals Foundation provides, at no charge, a wide range of support services for people affected by cancer and their loved ones. Programs are available to proton therapy patients with cancer and at any stage of the cancer journey.

“Cancierge helps helps cancer patients thrive and flourish.”

Janet McLain knows about cancer firsthand. As a cancer survivor, she is familiar with the emotional upheaval and the physical drain of cancer treatment and the psychological and spiritual issues that come with a cancer diagnosis. Janet gives support to those who are on a similar path through cancer into wellness.

Janet founded Cancierge because she had the dream to help cancer patients through this difficult time with hope and inspiration.
Cancierge creates an environment that not only welcomes tears but laughter as well.

Every patient has different needs as they progress through their survival journey. That’s why the team at Cancierge spends time talking with you individually. We’ll get clear on what is important to you, what concerns you the most, and what will be most beneficial in the future. We’ll then design a plan that helps you accomplish optimal health.

Because of Janet’s personal odyssey with cancer, she is passionate about guiding others through their journey. With the varied hats she has worn, Janet has developed many insights she desires to share with others living through cancer. With her genuine warmth, heartfelt compassion, and her smiling demeanor, Janet instills positivity and hope!

Oklahoma Proton Center is thrilled to have Cancierge join us with their new location in our very own lobby. The services provided by Janet and her team will be a blessing to so many walking through the struggles of hair loss during chemotherapy cancer treatments.

To learn more or book a consultation, please click HERE

More than 1.8 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer this year. Unfortunately, only 1% will be treated with proton therapy for their fight. The underutilization of Proton Therapy is due to a lack of awareness for this powerful treatment of cancer.

Sponsored by Proton Centers throughout the United States, Proton Fight Club is a national awareness campaign for proton therapy; join patients and frontline fighters in their quest to fight cancer head-on with the most advanced radiation treatment in the world.

Want to get involved? We would love to have you join the club. Check out our Facebook group by clicking HERE


Sharing your cancer experience enables you to look at your circumstance in a new light. It allows you to become an observer rather than a victim, to use the challenge as a source of strength, and to inspire hope for future survivors. Read some courageous stories from our inspiring survivors by clicking below.

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If you’d like to share your story, please reach out to Heather Jacobson at [email protected] and she will be in touch will additional details.

Want to share but don’t feel like much of an author? No problem!

We will provide the tools, resources, and support you need to document your experience. Whether you want to share publicly or simply keep for personal reflection, we are here to help.

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