September 22, 2023
Surge in Survivors

Photo: Mayo Florida

Roxana S. Dronca oversees the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Economic Backbone: Cancer Care

Surge in Survivors

Mayo Florida is adding proton therapy and a carbon ion therapy in the Americas.

Vanessa Caceres | 1/25/2023

By 2032, the number of cancer survivors in the U.S. is expected to rise 24.4% to 22.5 million, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Those patients may survive with cancer longer, but they also will likely have to undergo a wider range of treatments, such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy and other approaches.

To accommodate the growing number of cancer survivors as well as an uptick in cancer cases overall, Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center in Jacksonville is adding a 225,000-sq.-ft., $210-million building. Construction on the oncology building began in 2022 and is slated for completion in 2025, says Roxana S. Dronca, director of the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The facility will focus primarily on radiation treatments, including proton therapy and a carbon ion radiotherapy available in North America and South America, says Dronca. Carbon ion therapy can destroy cells resistant to traditional radiation therapy and is particularly useful for certain brain cancers, sarcomas, melanomas and kidney cancers. The treatment cycle with carbon ion radiotherapy also makes it more compatible with certain types of immunotherapies now used frequently for cancer, Dronca says. Currently, carbon ion therapy is available at a small number of centers in Asia and Europe.

The oncology facility also will bring proton therapy for the first time to Mayo Clinic in Florida, although Mayo locations in Arizona and Minnesota already have it. Proton therapy is slated to begin at the Florida location in 2026 and carbon ion radiotherapy in 2027, Dronca says.

In addition to the $210-million cost for the facility and equipment, an additional $22 million is projected for parking and a covered walkway that will connect the oncology building with the current oncology/neurology building, Dronca says.

Tags: Cancer Care, Economic Backbone, Feature

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