By Sara Bondell - September 22, 2023
“Speros” is a derivative of the Latin verb “sperare,” which means “to hope.” Hope is the driving force behind Moffitt Cancer Center’s mission, and the cancer center will be spreading hope to more patients when it brings its personalized oncology and leading research to its largest expansion yet: SPEROS FL in Pasco County.
Moffitt broke ground on the 775-acre medical city in January 2023, kicking off construction of the first 75 acres of development named the W.E. Simpson Concourse for Cures. Roads and infrastructure are underway for the first phase of development, which will include a Moffitt-owned 100,000-square-foot clinic with a state-of-the-art proton therapy center and a cutting-edge research center. Approximately a 25-minute drive from Tampa International Airport and adjacent to the Suncoast Parkway, Speros FL will enhance access to care, research, clinical trials, academic training and medical tourism.
The research center will have offices and wet and dry lab space. Moffitt is in negotiations to build a cold-temperature biorepository and a data center. A large number of core research programs will be moving to the campus, including Machine Learning, Bioengineering and Cell Therapies.
The clinic will operate similarly to the cancer center’s other ambulatory centers at Moffitt at International Plaza and Moffitt at Wesley Chapel, but with a bigger focus on radiation therapy and proton therapy. A philanthropic gift of $15 million from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation helped fund the new proton therapy unit. Proton therapy is used to treat a growing number of cancers but is especially beneficial when treating areas where cancerous lesions are close to other vital structures. Using protons minimizes damage to healthy tissue surrounding tumors, impacting only the targeted area.
Moffitt has a large vision when it comes to developing the rest of the campus in the future. A newly appointed four-member board will provide guidance and stewardship of the campus to help grow the ecosystem of global innovation. Projects could include drug manufacturing facilities, family lodging, a convention center and a community hospital. About 275 acres of the land will be preserved and integrated into the larger campus design, and there is a 6th- through 12th-grade STEM school across the street. There will be an estimated need for 14,000 team members as the project grows over the next decade.
SPEROS FL: BY THE NUMBERS
- 775 acres (500 acres developed, 35% left for conservation)
- 250,000- to 300,000-square-foot research center
- 100,000-square-foot clinic building, including an ambulatory center and proton therapy unit
- 14,000 team members
- 140 buildings
- 6 miles of new road
- Ambulatory center and research facility opening 2025, proton therapy unit opening 2026