Treated 1999 · Posted 1999 · Updated 2013

"As long as I live, I will do everything I can to spread the word about "proton" treatment."

To Whom it may concern:

So many miss out on the best treatment in the world for Prostate Cancer and many other cancers and diseases. A recent article in the May 2002 issue of RETIRED OFFICER made me think about my own very successful treatment for Prostate Cancer.

As long as I live, I will do everything I can to spread the word about "proton" treatment.

In my opinion I have been treated for PROSTATE CANCER by the most advanced cancer treatment center in the United States of America located in Loma Linda, California.

The purpose of this letter is twofold: One, to provide unsolicited information to you, your friends and colleagues who may be or could be afflicted with Prostate cancer and many other cancers that can be treated by protons at Loma Linda University Medical Center, Department of Radiation Medicine.

While my letter is about my condition "prostate cancer" it is also about steps being taken at this advanced state of the art nuclear medicine facility in Loma Linda, California and other sites, and the fact that they are moving the process forward to address other diseases in now and in the future.

I was not surprised when my doctor told me I had prostate cancer. In 1999 at 69 years old, the average age of men with prostate cancer, I was aware my PSA had been running high.

Wondering what would be his best treatment option, I began to research prostate surgery, hormone therapy, and conventional three-dimensional radiation therapy. None of the outcomes of these options gave me compelling evidence this was the best treatment available. I was looking for a treatment that would not lessen my quality of life, and none of these treatments could offer me the security of avoiding impotence and incontinence."

Then I heard about proton therapy from one of my Fort Worth, Texas friends, Dr. John Griswell. "I mentioned I had prostate cancer and asked him what treatment would be best. He told me proton therapy at Loma Linda would be better than any of the other treatments."

Dr. Jerry D. Slater, Vice Chairman, Department of Radiation Medicine at Loma Linda says," Since proton radiation has a well-defined high-dose area, it can be manipulated to precisely surround an irregularly shaped target such as the prostate gland. This inherent characteristic of protons allows very little scatter of radiation to the bladder and rectal areas, allowing higher doses to the prostate with significantly fewer side effects."

The efficacy of this treatment has been proven to the satisfaction of the FDA and has its stamp of approval, it is an approved treatment by AARP, medical, and Medicare, - none of whom accept experimental treatment of any kind in their coverage. There are 180 insurance companies worldwide that cover proton treatment, so it is clear to me that its efficacy has been proven to be equal, if not above, all other forms of prostate cancer (PCA) treatment.

So, I went to Loma Linda and started treatment on July 5, 1999. Each day, I would receive proton therapy for 1 minute and 35 seconds. I've never had a more pleasant treatment experience, the procedure was painless, and I experienced no side effects.

On August 27, 1999 I completed proton therapy. During my treatment, I was able to telecommute with my laptop computer and did not miss any work. Now home in Texas, I am enjoying the quality of life I hoped to maintain, without incontinence or impotence.

Impressed with the great results of the proton therapy at the Proton Treatment Center, I am committed to increasing awareness of the capability of protons for the treatment of prostate cancer. I am adamant that people know there is a treatment available that will not cause them short term pain or long term major sexual dysfunction.

Although every man is different, identified early enough, many men leave Loma Linda "Cancer Free" from the specific cancer treated, after about forty painless once-a-day treatments. This, without the pain of surgery or the side effects that often accompany surgery and with better results than any other form of Radiation Therapy.

Currently, not nearly enough people know what is available with proton therapy.

 

 

  • A few years ago the results of a five-year study of men with early-to-late prostate cancer were published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics, and a sub-study was published in Urology. The study tracked 643 men with localized prostate cancer: after five years, researchers found the overall disease-free survival rate was 89 percent. The findings also showed proton therapy resulted in as many or more patients who were free of disease as those cited in published results of conventional treatments.
     
  • To date, over 40 people with primary liver cancer have been treated with protons and are experiencing positive results.
     
  • Proton treatment has received an influx of media attention: Dateline has aired a special on treatment of macular degeneration using protons; also; several other documentaries about treatment with protons are being produced for PBS and the Discovery Channel.

    Continually, Loma Linda Proton Treatment Center looks forward to maximizing the potential of protons even further. Plans include:
     

    • Treating an increasing number of children with tumors using protons. Over the last year, significant acceptance in this area has been attained, making proton therapy a standard in pediatric cancer treatment.
       
    • Broadening proton treatment to include a breast cancer program.
       
    • Expanding research on advanced prostate cancer using higher doses of protons in conjunction with hormonal treatment.
       

Here's my facts:

Howard J. "Jim" Tuggey
Treated for Prostate Cancer at the Loma Linda University Proton Treatment Center.

Each work day for 38 days - 7:20 A.M.
IN at 7 AM to change clothes; OUT by 7:40 A.M.
July 6 to August 27
Actual Treatment: 1 minute 35 seconds,
Treatment during and after: Painless, very professional, no side effects.
PSA before treatment 14.7
PSA on January 11, 2000 0.55.
June 2000 0.22.
PSA on Dec 5, 2000 0.12
June 12, 2001 0.16 and now
May 7, 2002 PSA 0.07.

When I was at Loma Linda. many patients had a combination of Photons (X-rays) (25 treatments) and Protons (11 to 15 treatments) largely based on your Gleason score (rating your specific cancer) and if you wanted to be near your home for the X-Ray part of the treatment. Seems to be OK if the treatment center is high quality such as M.D. Anderson, Baylor, Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic etc. Each treatment takes a few minutes each day. Check out http://www.proton-therapy.org/prostate.htm.

History:

Proton treatment started at Berkeley, CA in 1954; Harvard has treated over 8,000 patients beginning in 1961 (10 per day). (Most for tumors other than prostate.)

Worldwide over 33,000 patients have been treated with protons.

One other center exists in the United States, The Northeast Proton Therapy Center at the Massachusetts General Hospital (Harvard University) recently expanded and should be treating Prostate patients within the year 2002. http://www.ccgi.com/nptc.html. They have been treating with "Protons" since 1956 at the Harvard Cyclotron Laboratory (HCL) this is a program located on the campus of Harvard University and which works in conjunction with Massachusetts General Hospital and the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary. http://neurosurgery.mgh.harvard.edu/

Worldwide there are many proton treatment facilities and many new ones are being constructed. The Regents at the University of Texas have approved a 'Proton center" for M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and another is at Bloomington, Indiana. THE MIDWEST PROTON RADIATION INSTITUTE is located at 2401 Milo B, Sampson Ln Bloomington, IN 47408 Check out: http://www.iucf.indiana.edu/MPRI/about.htm.

Included in the Proton program for me were a number of Texans at Loma Linda and we were and are extremely happy with our choice.

How does it work: The simple explanation:
"Protons" which have a unique "Bragg Peak", understood by Physicists and the Doctors who use it allows the radiation to enter the body at ½ the speed of light, focused directly on the cancer and after hitting the cancer hard, drops to ZERO immediately behind the cancer, thereby sparing other tissue both on the input and output side of the cancer and avoiding many of the side effects that Three Dimensional Conformal Radiation produces. In fact, the proton is so efficient that Loma Linda's Dr. Schulte is closing in on Proton surgery - surgery without invasion.

What else does Loma Linda treat with protons.
The following is a list of cancers (and some benign conditions) by body site which are currently being treated with proton beam radiotherapy, either alone or in combination with x-ray therapy at Loma Linda:

 

 

 

Brain & Head & Neck:
Astrocytoma
Meningioma
Acoustic Neuroma
Ocular Melanoma
Subfoveal Neovascularization
Intracranial Aterio-Venous Malformations
Brain Metastasis
Multiple Head & Neck Sites:
(Nasopharynx, Tonsil, Base of Tongue, Paranasal sinuses,etc.)
Spinal Cord:
Cordomas, including those involving the base of skull
Chondrosarcomas
Chest:
Medically inoperable Non-small cell lung cancer (usually stage I or II tumors which have not metastasized to any other site. Patient's general health makes surgery to remove lung impossible).
Abdomen:
Hepatocellular carcinoma
Liver metastasis (usually solitary)
Pancreatic Cancer
Retroperitoneal Sacromas
Pelvis:
Prostate Cancer
Cervix Cancer
Sacral Cordomas
Large Field:
Loma Linda is in the process of performing various improvements to the synchrotron and proton beam transport system to allow treatment of large fields like those required to treat breast cancer and Hodgkin's Disease.
 

1955 - Following is the history of this advanced and successful "Proton" treatment which was first accomplished at Berkeley Radiation Laboratory for other cancers in 1955:

PROTON THERAPY MILESTONES LEADING UP TO LOMA LINDA TREATMENTS

1946: Proton beam treatment for medical purpose proposed for the first time by Robert Wilson, Ph.D.
1954: Proton treatment begins at Berkeley Radiation Laboratory.
1961: Harvard University at Massachusetts General Hospital begins "Proton" treatment.
1971: Loma Linda University Medical Center researchers begin focusing on charged-particle treatment.
1986: Proton Therapy Cooperative Group established to promote international cooperation in hospital-based proton beam therapy.
1987: Loma Linda University Medical Center announces intent to build first hospital-based proton treatment facility.
1988: Groundbreaking for LLUMC Proton Treatment Center.
1988: U.S. Congress appropriates $8.5 million for the LLUMC Proton Treatment Center and, in another session, grants an additional $11.1 million through the Department of Energy.
1989: LLUMC synchrotron commissioned at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.
1990: Fermilab completes testing of 250-million-electron-volt accelerator; synchrotron shipped to LLUMC in summer and autumn.
1990: First patient treated at LLUMC Proton Treatment Center.
1991: Second beam line is commissioned in January. Treatment begins for patients with brain tumors and tumors of the head and neck.
1991: First worldwide use of a gantry to deliver a proton beam.
1991: First treatment for patient with prostate cancer.
1992: Groundbreaking ceremony for $20.3 million LLU Cancer Research Institute to apply multi-modality approach to cancer research and treatment.
1992: U.S. Congressman Jerry Lewis acknowledged for dedicated work in estab-lishing the Proton Treatment Center. A-level floor named in his honor.
1994: Second and third gantries begin clinical operation.
1994: NASA and LLUMC officials sign an agreement to research ways to protect astronauts from radiation in space.
1996: 2000th patient is treated. Patients from 41 states and 19 countries have been treated.
1996: During a ceremony honoring Congressman Jerry Lewis, the new LLU Cancer Institute/School of Medicine building is dedicated.
1997: Radiobiology research begins in the NASA Radiobiology Laboratory in the new Cancer Institute building.
1997: 3000th patient treated.
1998: Department of radiation medicine treating 100 proton therapy patients and 100 x-ray therapy patients per day.

Many collaborative clinical research studies continue at Loma Linda University Medical Center through participation in cooperative groups and in collaboration with other proton therapy investigators in the Proton Radiation Oncology Group. This does not diminish the fact that "Protons" work and are a proven mature technique.

Loma Linda University Medical Center investigators are working on several other protocols, including those for lung, breast, esophagus, liver, and bladder cancers.

As of May 2002, over 6000 patients have been treated for cancer at Loma Linda's Proton Center using the PROTON BEAM FOR ALL TYPES OF CANCERS with about 60 percent Prostate.

I know that I made the best choice for any man, a painless treatment that retains my sexual function. We had a few patients in my group of over 40 men, and many wives, who met every Wednesday evening that had earlier "Radical Prostatectomies" and were being treated by Protons.

My web site is www.prostateproton.com and I am willing to talk to anyone who has Prostate Cancer, to help them learn about this wonderful program. There a number of patients who have completed the treatment and can verify the results. I am merely a happy patient and want to share my good fortune with my many colleagues. This is not "theory" this is fact, and it happened to me!

The results, my PSA at the beginning in July 1999 was 14.7, and as of November 2001 0.07.

H. J. "Jim" Tuggey
E-mail: jjtug@msn.com

Update: June 2013 - "Still Going Strong After 14 Years"

An excerpt from Jim Tuggey's blog:

After [proton] treatment in 1999, I decided to tell anyone who would listen about both my experience and the experiences of others I met who were treated with protons...

Bob Marckini deserves the highest accolades for his dedication to providing advice and his continuing research to verify any responses he provides. I suggest you read his book now!

So, at 83 I can say that my experience has been amazing and successful. And as 84 approaches, I expect to continue looking at the number of proton facilities that have been built in the U.S. and in other countries and read their reports when possible.

I regret the recent loss of "Ken Venturi" as a friend, and miss his advice both as a professional golfer and proton advocate.

Click here to read Jim Tuggey's blog.

Here is photo of Jim Tuggey:

 

"I have not spent one dollar on medicines or follow-up procedures in my 13 years post-proton treatment."
- Wayne Swartz, BOB Member
"You owe it to yourself and to those who love you to safeguard your quality of life. Surgery will not do that ... proton therapy can."
- Jeannie Chase, Spouse
- Warren Johns, BOB member
"15 years have passed since exposure to the penetrating power of the proton and the superb medical skills of the 'beam team.'”
"The procedure was a breeze. It has been 10 years and I feel GREAT.”
- Tom Wright, BOB member
"As long as I live, I will do everything I can to spread the word about proton treatment.”
- Jim Tuggey, BOB member
"I am celebrating 8 years post-treatment with no recurrence, no side effects, and not one more penny for medications."
Robert T. Gore, M.D. F.A.C.O.G.

 


The Purcell's fairy tale life came to a halt when the doctor diagnosed Pat with prostate cancer. 

Little did they know that 25 years earlier, a doctor 1,200 miles away risked his entire career to pioneer proton treatment with virtually no side effects. “Against All Odds” follows a couple’s desire to fight cancer and unveils the historical account of a doctor’s passion to discover a better treatment option.

Watch the video.


Questions? Ask us anything.

Proton Therapy Advantages:

· Less damage to healthy tissue
· Non-invasive, painless

· Outpatient setting
· No recovery time
· Lower chance of recurrence
· Few, if any, side effects

Want to talk to former proton patients? Just ask.


You Can Beat Prostate Cancer — NEW Edition Available

Written by former proton therapy patient and BOB founder, Robert Marckini

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