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University of Maryland School of Medicine Appoints New Medical Director For Maryland Proton Treatment Center

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Dr. Minesh P. Mehta will join the faculty in October.
 Dr. Minesh P. Mehta will join the faculty in October.

Renowned Physician-Scientist Minesh P. Mehta, M.B.Ch.B., F.A.S.T.R.O., to Run First Proton Treatment Center in Baltimore-Washington Region

University of Maryland School of Medicine Dean, E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., and William F. Regine, M.D., chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology, have appointed Minesh P. Mehta, M.B.Ch.B., F.A.S.T.R.O., to serve as medical director of the Maryland Proton Treatment Center (MPTC). Dr. Mehta will also serve as associate director of clinical research in the Department of Radiation Oncology.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Mehta to the helm of our new proton treatment center, a more than $200 million project that brings this revolutionary new cancer treatment to the Baltimore-Washington region for the first time,” says Dean Reece, who is also vice president for medical affairs of the University of Maryland. “This center will provide state-of-the-art, potentially lifesaving care to numerous cancer patients annually. Beyond that, the Maryland Proton Treatment Center will give these patients access to cutting edge research trials, making our patients and this center a hub for the advancement of the emerging science of image-guided, intensity-modulated proton therapy.”

Dr. Mehta will join the University of Maryland School of Medicine on October 22, 2012 from his previous position as professor and co-director of the Radiation Oncology Residency Training Program at Northwestern University in Chicago.

Advanced Particle Therapy LLC of San Diego, Calif., is developing the Maryland Proton Treatment Center, a 110,000-square-foot facility in the University of Maryland BioPark in west Baltimore. The center will begin seeing patients in 2015.   The University of Maryland Radiation Oncology Associates P.A of the School of Medicine shall provide clinical management and therapeutic services, including physician services and medical direction, and will extensively collaborate with other academic and community oncology physicians in ensuring appropriate management of patients and resources. The initial radiation oncology faculty physicians are members of the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center team, but with growing collaborations, other academic physicians may participate.

“Dr. Mehta is recognized worldwide as an expert in clinical trial strategies, design and execution of national and international trials of all sizes, and innovative research, integrating technology, biology and imaging in radiation oncology,” says Dr. Regine, who is professor and Isadore & Fannie Schneider Foxman Endowed Chair in Radiation Oncology at the School of Medicine. “Dr. Mehta will work closely with departmental leadership as well as the project development group, Advanced Particle Therapy, to successfully establish the Maryland Proton Treatment Center as a center of excellence for research, education and patient care.”

As medical director of the center, Dr. Mehta will define and implement the processes to ensure that the center is fully integrated within our radiation oncology program, the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center, the University of Maryland Medical Center and System and the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He will work in the development of clinical trials and research protocols for patients, assume a leadership role within the evolving nationwide proton center consortium, as well as develop and integrate criteria for proton therapy patient selection within the Department of Radiation Oncology’s clinical practice guidelines.

“Preparing for the opening of the first proton treatment center in the Baltimore-Washington region is a challenging next step for my career, a challenge that I am looking forward to,” says Dr. Mehta. “Their world-class expertise makes the cancer faculty at the University of Maryland School of Medicine uniquely suited to establish this center and to change the lives of patients throughout the mid-Atlantic region and the world. I am excited to be a part of that.”

Dr. Mehta currently Chairs the Brain Tumor Committee of the National Institutes of Health funded Radiation Therapy Oncology Group focusing on innovative clinical trials for patients with various tumors of the central nervous system.  He also has an excellent track-record of peer-reviewed funding and leading multi-investigator research grants in the fields of thoracic oncology, neur-oncology, integrating imaging advances with radiation therapy, and innovative applications of new radiation therapy technologies to test biological concepts. He maintains an active interest in radiation-drug interactions, amelioration of radiation toxicities, incorporation of advanced radiation and imaging technologies, and is keenly interested in expanding the frontiers of personalized care in radiotherapy.

In 1981, Dr. Mehta received his medical degree with highest honors from the University of Zambia School of Medicine in Lusaka, Zambia. He completed his radiation oncology training at the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1988, immediately joining the faculty at the university. He became professor and was chair of the Department of Human Oncology at the University of Wisconsin for a decade from 1997-2007. Subsequently, he has been devoting time to national leadership efforts at the American Board of Radiology, the FDA Radiological Devices Panel, the American Society for Radiation Oncology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the International Stereotactic Radiosurgery Society, and the Society of Neuro-Oncology. In 2010, he joined Northwestern University as professor of radiation oncology.

Dr. Mehta is a distinguished and highly regarded physician and scientist and has received many awards and honors. During his academic career, he has delivered more than 600 lectures worldwide and has authored more than 800 manuscripts, abstracts and book chapters. In 2010, as editor-in-chief, he published what is regarded as the definitive textbook in neuro-oncology. He has also provided leadership for more than 100 clinical trials through the National Cancer Institute sponsored cooperative groups such as ABTC, CCG, COG, ECOG, NABTC, and RTOG, and has also led industry-sponsored, paradigm-changing international, randomized multicenter clinical trials.

“I am confident that Dr. Mehta is the perfect candidate to direct our Maryland Proton Treatment Center, making it a national hub for cutting edge research and patient care and bringing new hope to cancer patients and their families in this region and beyond,” says Dean Reece.

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