Marketers Change Tactics as Proton Therapy Services Increase: Reaching Patients Directly Through Online Marketing

April 1, 2014

by Sheryl S. Jackson

Sheryl S. JacksonThe United States will be home to 27 proton therapy centers by 2017, almost double the number in operation at the end of 2013, according to U.S. Proton Therapy Outlook 2017, a report produced by RNCOS, a business re­search and consultancy firm. The growth of the specialized cancer treatment is attributed to a combina­tion of health care organizations’ need to diversify their radiation therapy product line, the development of less expensive machines, and a growing number of uses for the pinpoint-precision technology.

Cost has been a major issue in the development of pro­ton therapy centers. Eleven of the centers have spent up to $225 million to build a facility, compared with $20 million for the newest type of proton therapy cen­ter offered at Barnes-Jewish Hospital’s Kling Center for Proton Therapy in St. Louis. Even though new, lower-cost technology is available, a number of insurers are raising questions about the expense of the treatment for prostate cancer and are not covering proton beam therapy for early-stage prostate cancer.

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