Dr. Ben Wilkinson is a radiation oncologist with experience in the field of proton therapy, both in his practice as a radiation oncologist and as part of clinical research studies exploring the benefits of protons in a variety of cancers.
He came to Provision Center for Proton Therapy from the Willis-Knighton Cancer and Proton Therapy Center in Shreveport, La., where he served as a radiation oncologist and assistant professor of radiation oncology for the Louisiana State University School of Medicine.
Wilkinson was familiar with the Provision Center for Proton Therapy, since it opened shortly before the Shreveport facility. He came to the Knoxville facility because of its reputation for excellent patient care and its position not only as a top-notch cancer treatment center but also as a developer of next-generation proton therapy machines.
“There’s no other proton therapy center in the world that is as closely linked with a proton therapy manufacturer,” he says. “It’s an incredible opportunity.”
As medical director, Dr. Wilkinson oversees patient care at the proton therapy center and serves as principal investigator for Provision’s proton therapy-focused research studies. He also practices conventional radiation therapy through Provision Radiation Therapy center, also located at the Dowell Springs Campus.
He graduated from Texas A&M University with his medical degree and completed residency at Oakland Cancer Institute in Royal Oak, Mich. He received specialized training in proton beam therapy at University of Pennsylvania and the Paul Scherrer Institutes in Villigen, Switzerland. He also completed training in GammaKnife stereotactic radiosurgery at the University of Pittsburg and BrainLab stereotactic radiosurgery at the University of Chicago.
He has authored multiple articles, book chapters and reviews. His research has focused primarily on treatment of breast cancer. He serves on committees of the American Society for Radiation Oncology and the American College of Radiation Oncology. He is a board member of Radiating Hope, a non-profit that provides radiation treatment equipment to developing countries.
Wilkinson said he identifies closely with Provision’s “culture of care,” and is impressed with the atmosphere and treatment patients receive here. He says patients can expect him to set aside as much time as needed to answer questions and make them feel comfortable with the process.
“Education, I think, is the key to providing the best patient care,” he says. “If a patient says, ‘Oh, wow, I understand this now,’ then I’ve done my job.”