Danbury Proton, which specializes in a noninvasive, cancer-fighting therapy, has published a notice of intent to submit a Certificate of Need to the Connecticut State Office of Health Strategy for a new, $80 million proton therapy treatment center at 85 Wooster Heights.
As proposed, the project would create over 100 construction jobs during a two-year period. When operational in 2023, Danbury Proton would employ more than 30 full-time equivalent employees including radiation oncologists, medical physicists, radiation therapists, medical support and administrative staff.
The new center would feature Mevion proton therapy equipment manufactured in Littleton, Massachusetts.
“I am thrilled that the organizers chose our city to be their home,” said Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton. “Through their branding and world-class facility, they will accelerate Danbury’s role as a pioneer in high-tech health care. This will be a significant boost to Danbury’s economy and future.”
First used to treat patients in 1954, and receiving FDA approval in 1988, the therapy uses protons to break the DNA of cancer cells, which inhibits the cancer’s ability to proliferate. According to the company, it has become a preferred treatment option for patients with cancerous tumors, especially those in sensitive locations such as near the brain, spine, heart and eye.
Connecticut’s Certificate of Need regulatory program requires health care providers to obtain state approval prior to making major changes in the health care landscape such as mergers, substantial capital investments in new equipment or facilities, changing access to services, discontinuing a medical service, or introducing a new technology like proton therapy.
Danbury Proton’s leadership team has over 50 combined years of experience and has been involved in the operation and development therapy centers in the U.S. and internationally.
The new proton center in Danbury would provide increased access to the 56 million people living in the Northeast. There are currently 36 operational proton therapy centers in the entire U.S. and none in Connecticut.