Mayo Clinic has announced it will build a $233 million oncology facility on its Jacksonville campus that will include proton beam therapy.
The new 140,000-square-foot facility will be located near the Mangurian Building and is expected to be completed in late 2023.
The Mangurian Building. which opened last year, houses Mayo's hematology and oncology care, which will allow Mayo to keep its cancer treatment services close together on the Jacksonville campus.
"This facility will give us the ability to offer our patients the full spectrum of cancer treatment options, including chemotherapy, immunotherapy, CAR-T cell (chimeric antigen receptor therapy T cell) therapy, surgery, proton beam therapy, gamma knife radiosurgery and traditional radiotherapy," said Dr. Kent Thielen, CEO of Mayo Clinic’s Jacksonville campus in an email to WJCT News.
Mayo Clinic says proton radiotherapy represents a major technological advancement in the treatment of cancer, allowing for radiation therapy used to be precisely directed, resulting in lower doses of radiation to healthy tissue.
While proton therapy centers are relatively rare across the country, Jacksonville already has two.
UF Health Jacksonville and the Ackerman Cancer Center also have proton beams, making Jacksonville the only city in the country to currently have two of the centers, according to the National Association for Proton Therapy, which has published a nationwide map of the centers.
The only other cities in Florida with proton therapy treatment centers are Delray Beach and Miami.
Thielsen said what sets Mayo Clinic apart from other centers with proton therapy is the full compliment of treatment available at its Jacksonville campus. “The capability of this facility to allow patients to have the full breadth of cancer therapy available at the tip of their fingers at one single location is one of the key capabilities of this facility and that’s what we’re really particularly excited about.”
Mayo Clinic will be one of two National Cancer Institute designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in Florida once the building is completed, according to Mayo Clinic spokeswoman Tia Ford. The other one is the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, but it doesn't offer proton therapy at its facility.
Mayo has also invested in proton beam therapy at its campuses in Rochester, Minn. and Phoenix.
Jacksonville's reputation as a destination for cancer treatment is growing. Last year, the MD Anderson Cancer Center – based in Houston – opened a $184 million Jacksonville campus on the Southbank in conjunction with Baptist Health.