Oklahoma Proton Center Opens State of the Art Ocular Melanoma Program

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK / January 7, 2020 / Oklahoma Proton Center has opened an ocular melanoma treatment program that is one of just a handful of proton focused programs in the country.

Ocular Melanoma is a rare malignancy that develops in the pigmented part of the eye, affecting roughly 2,200 people per year in the U.S. Treatment options in Oklahoma have historically included local resection, radioactive plaque, enucleation, and Gamma Knife. Proton Therapy offers a non-invasive more precise approach to treating this cancer.

Dr. John Chang was part of the Ocular Melanoma program at the Northwestern Proton Center in Chicago, IL before joining Oklahoma Proton Center earlier this year. “Proton therapy is a proven method to treat Ocular Melanoma. We are excited to be the first to offer this treatment to patients in the region.”

Studies from Massachusetts General Hospital and the Paul Scherrer Institute have shown benefits for patients treated with proton therapy including high local control and survival rates of 95% or better along with preservation of the natural eye and sparing of healthy tissue.

A survey of available studies done by the Mayo Clinic assessing charged particle therapy, including proton therapy, for uveal melanoma found that the “rate of local recurrence was significantly less” with proton therapy than with brachytherapy and proton therapy was also associated with lower retinopathy and cataract formation rates.1 This was based on data from 27 studies and a total of 8,809 patients.

Most major insurance companies, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma, UnitedHealthcare, and Medicare provide coverage for proton therapy for the treatment of ocular melanoma.

Treatments take about 30 minutes each day and occur over a total of 5 days.

For more information about the program or to meet with a doctor, patients can contact Oklahoma Proton Center at (405) 773 – 6700 or visit the center’s website at okcancercenter.com

About Oklahoma Proton Center

The Oklahoma Proton Center opened in August of 2009 as the 6th proton center in the United States and remains one of just 32 active proton centers in the United States. The clinical team at the facility is one of the most experienced in the industry and the center has been a leader and pioneer in the field for the past 10 years. The center has four treatment rooms and treats as many as 70+ patients per day.

About Proton Therapy

Proton Therapy is the most precise form of radiation treatment for cancer available today. The physics of protons allow physicians to deliver them into cancer cells where they stop thus avoiding damage to surrounding healthy tissue and critical organs. Proton Therapy is routinely used at some of the nation’s leading cancer hospitals and more than 200,000 patients have been successfully treated worldwide. Proton therapy can be used to treat most solid tumors including diagnoses such as breast, lung, head and neck, gastrointestinal, prostate, brain, and other cancers.

  1. Wang, et al. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2013 May 1;86(1):18-26.


David Raubach
Chief Development Officer
(918) 798-9160

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