Archive for the ‘Letters to the Editor’ Category

Rebuke to the Mayo Health Letter

Saturday, May 21st, 2005

[This from my friend John P. Ebin]

Dear Editor,

Shame, Shame, Shame on you!!!!!! As a benefactor and patient of the Mayo Clinic for over 35 years, I would have expected better of you. Regarding your mention of Proton Beam Therapy, and your statement that “this form of radiation is under study at a few medical centers, and it’s anticipated that use of this technique will increase in coming years,” I must inform you that this is total misinformation. Loma Linda University Medical Center has been treating patients for over 15 years with incredible results as clearly confirmed in their 5, 7, and 10 year published and peer reviewed studies. Over 10,000 patients have been treated so far with over 6000 of them being for prostate cancer. LLUMC is now treating almost 800 patients per year for Prostate Cancer. Also, centers are open in Boston, Bloomington, Indiana and others all over the world. M. D. Anderson and Shands Hospital are both constructing centers, each costing well over 100 million dollars. They are not spending this money to just “study” but as each have stated, to deliver the most advanced and proven form of targeted radiation to patients, to cure their cancers and save lives, and most importantly to minimize collateral damage to adjacent tissues. Many other major medical institutions in the USA have centers under design and are now searching for the funding.

I have benefited from LLUMC’s vision, having been treated there 3 years ago with excellent results, and no side effects. I did visit Mayo in Rochester to discuss my options with Dr. Robert Meyers (whom I have great respect for), but decided against surgery and instead opted for PBT at LLUMC. In retrospect, it was a great decision, having seen the disastrous side effect from Radical Prostate Surgery in many of my friends.

It looks to me as if Mayo is protecting a revenue source, instead of giving PBT it’s just and honest review. I think you should wake up to the proven benefits of PBT and build your own center. Radical Prostate Surgery is no longer the “Gold Standard.” It is now the “Old Standard” and just possibly normal x-ray radiation will become obsolete in the near future because of the genius and vision of Dr. James Slater at LLUMC.

I suggest you correct your mistake in the next Health Letter, unless you wished to do a terrible disservice to mankind. Anything less than this will cause discredit to your Health Letter, and I for one, will end my subscription.

John P. Ebin

Newsweek, Letter to the Editor

Wednesday, December 1st, 2004

Managing Editor December 1, 2004
ATTN: Mr. Norman Pearlstine
Time and Life Building
Rockefeller Center
New York, NY 10020

Dear Sir:

I am surprised at the incomplete research in the article Beating Cancer November 29, 2004.

I was treated over five years ago for Prostate Cancer using “state-of-the-art�? Proton Therapy at Loma Linda University’s Proton Treatment Center, in California My case is explained at my web site at and the links. I am not a doctor, just a VERY HAPPY patient.

This wonderful option is not specifically mentioned in Fortune’s piece regarding radiation and is unfortunately grouped on page 104 under the “What you need to know about prostate cancer�?, Radiation. In my opinion and personal experience at Loma Linda, Proton Therapy, (Please note the “R�?) is by far the new Gold standard without the unpleasant side effects mentioned on page 104 of FORTUNE Nov. 29, 2004.

FORTUNE’s information on page 104 assumes that all radiation is alike and is incorrect, for that reason leaving potential patients without information on Proton Therapy, including patients with other cancers!

The article is important and credits Mr. Milken with finding funding needed for critical research. However, it ignores the fact that the “Proton�? with it’s inherent and controllable accuracy (Bragg Peak) has been used at Massachusetts General Hospital in cooperation with Harvard since 1961 and continues now in their new Northeast Proton Therapy Center (NPTC) at the Massachusetts General Hospital

Loma Linda began Proton Therapy in 1990 and I’ll bet that Mr. Milken never heard of it! In 1991 a member of the facility engineering team from FERMI Laboratories was the first Prostate Cancer patient to be treated at Loma Linda using Protons. To date, out of over 9,000 patients treated with Protons, over 6,000 have been for Prostate Cancer. The success in minimal side effects is outstanding!

Now the treatment is available at the Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute, in Bloomington, and M.D. Anderson in Houston is about to complete its new Proton Center scheduled to open in 2005. (Dr. Smith in Houston at MD Anderson would be the contact.) Also Dr. Metz at the University of Pennsylvania can provide information on the advantages of the Proton and tell you about their plans for a center. One more, Shands Cancer center in Jacksonville, Florida has a Proton facility under construction and at about 80 to 100 million for each facility the numbers are impressive and should be well know and included in all funding for research.


Sincerely yours,

Howard J. “Jim�? Tuggey

WSJ – Letter to the Editor

Friday, May 21st, 2004

Dear Laura:

Regarding your byline – Minimally Invasive Techniques Emerge as Alternatives for Men With Nonmalignant Condition, WSJ May 20, 2004.

Thank you for this article regarding non-invasive techniques for BHP.

Better yet is the fact that I was treated for Prostate Cancer in 1999 with the Non-invasive Proton – [Proton with a “R”] starting with a PSA of 15.9, a Gleason Score of 6, and Staging T1C. The result of this treatment at Loma Linda Medical Center’s Proton Treatment Center as of Tuesday, May 18, 2004 is a PSA of 0.1 without side effects over 4 and 1/2 years later.

This treatment is not new, Harvard at Mass. General Hospital started treating with the Proton in 1961 and Loma Linda began in 1990. The first cancerous prostate was treated in 1991 at Loma Linda and since then over 5,000 men have been delighted with the results from this non-invasive, minimal side effects treatment.

As of today in Mass. there is a Northeast Proton Center, in Bloomington, Indiana the Midwest Proton Center, and all treat the prostate and many other cancers and benign tumors. A new Proton Center is under construction at M.D. Anderson in Houston where they will use the techniques developed at Loma Linda University under the guidance of Dr. James Slater who recently appeared on the Today show in a Melissa Stark segment.

Two other centers are in the final stages of planning, one in Florida, and one with Walter Reed Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania cooperating. Others are in the early development stage. Over 33,000 patients have been treated with the Proton worldwide and it is a viable, important treatment that is often overlooked and bundled with “Radiation” in general even by the National Cancer Institute.

The proton with the “R” makes the difference – the Photon spelled with a “h” is standard X-Ray although the techniques of delivery have improved using 3 D, IMRT and other techniques. Unless the prostate center has the capability of delivering the Proton, it is not capable of this treatment. As of this date, only three centers have the proton delivery capability as above.

I sponsor 30 “e-mail challenged” men who have had this “proton treatment” and all are happy with the result.

Thank you for reading.

Howard J. “Jim” Tuggey
Prostate Cancer Survivor