Treated 2000 · Posted 2004 · Updated 2015

“My prostate cancer has been in remission for 15 years now.

It took two needle biopsies three months apart to find my cancer in the spring of 2000. I learned of proton treatment the day of my diagnosis. A friend of a friend had just returned from Loma Linda. I logged on the web, went to the LLUMC web site and started reading. The instant I saw the "Bragg peak," I knew protons were for me. Of course, I had a bit of a head start. I am a retired Nuclear/Mechanical Engineer. I knew a lot about ionizing radiation but was not familiar with the behavior of protons passing through water (flesh). The significance of the Bragg peak, is that it enhances the ability to deposit energy in the target, and reduces the damage to surrounding good tissue. The biggest drawback to conformal radiation treatment of deep tissue tumors with photons (high-energy x-rays) has been the collateral damage to good tissue. Harnessing the proton the way it has been done at LLUMC has solved that problem. No psychological trauma or gut wrenching decisions for me. My battle was not with cancer, it was with CIGNA to get them to pay for my treatment (I won).

The word "BOB" now has special meaning in my life.

1) I am a proud and grateful member of the benevolent and prestigious "BOB" (Brotherhood of the Balloon).

2) I am thankful that "BOB" Marckini followed up on those early-morning bull sessions at the Loma Linda proton Treatment Center, and has devoted so much of his time to the "BOB."

3) Most important of all, I am forever grateful for the phone call from another friend named "BOB." He started me down the road to Loma Linda. That's the best tip I've had in my lifetime.

Bottom line: If I had it to do over I would choose the combination proton/photon treatment in an instant, hands down, over any other option.

PSA at diagnosis - 7.7 Gleason - 3+4 = 7
PSA 4 months post treatment - 2.8
PSA 10 months post treatment - 1.6
PSA 12 mouths post treatment - 1.7
PSA 16 months post treatment - 2.4
PSA 20 months post treatment - 1.3

My PSA has gone through a little bump, but my cancer remains in remission two years after treatment. Ask me in a few more years if I have been cured. My attitude is that, yes, I have, and if I'm wrong there are lots of new "smart bombs" on the horizon for cancer. In the meantime I still have my prostate, I'm not wearing a diaper, and I have fond memories of that two-month vacation in Southern California and the wonderful folks at the LLUMC Proton Treatment Center.

Update: 2015

My prostate cancer has been in remission for 15 years now.  

"I have not spent one dollar on medicines or follow-up procedures in my 20 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

Buy it on Amazon.