Louisiana Gambles On Experimental Cancer Proton Therapy In Hopes Of Becoming Medical Tourism Hub
The state promises $10.6 million to two companies to help subsidize the construction of centers in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. In other cancer treatment news, KHN reports on a substantial decline in research supported by the National Institutes of Health.
A Taxpayer Gamble On Medical Tourism: Louisiana Subsidizes Proton Therapy To Boost Its Economy
Taxpayers in Louisiana are helping to subsidize construction of two health care centers offering a divisive cancer treatment — even as state lawmakers prepare to cut millions from basic health services. The treatment is called proton therapy, and this spring, the state’s economic development department promised up to $10.6 million to two companies, one to build a center in Baton Rouge and the other in New Orleans. Proton therapy is touted as a procedure with low side effects — a pencil-sized beam of protons is shot directly at tumors, with the goal of sparing the healthy tissue around it. (Blau,6/2)
Kaiser Health News:
As Government-Funded Cancer Research Sags, Scientists Fear U.S. Is ‘Losing Its Edge’
Less and less of the research presented at a prominent cancer conference is supported by the National Institutes of Health, a development that some of the country’s top scientists see as a worrisome trend. The number of studies fully funded by the NIH at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) — the world’s largest gathering of cancer researchers — has fallen 75 percent in the past decade, from 575 papers in 2008 to 144 this year, according to the society, which meets Friday through Tuesday in Chicago. (Szabo, 5/2)