Texas cancer cases continue to rise, yet the Dallas-Fort Worth area remains the largest metropolitan area in the country without a proton therapy treatment facility. That’s about to change, beginning Wednesday with the groundbreaking for the $105 million Texas Center for Proton Therapy in Irving. The center’s backers say the facility will make North Texas a top destination for advanced cancer care. I spoke about the project this afternoon with with Gary Barlow, the center’s director, and Dr. Scott Cheek, a radiation oncologist at the Texas Oncology–Baylor Sammons Cancer Center. Texas Oncology and its partners plan to open the proton therapy center in early 2016 to fill a gap for patients and families, Barlow said. “It’s something that’s badly needed by the patients and physicians here as a resource,” said Barlow, who’s had a 28-year career in radiation technology management. 

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