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Center for Proton Therapy

Proton therapy is a form of radiation treatment which delivers a precise dose of radiation to tumors while sparing surrounding normal tissue. The result is a better option for treating some types of cancer while causing fewer harmful side effects.

Proton therapy, like all forms of radiation therapy, works by damaging the DNA of cancer cells, which may result in their growth arrest or death. Unlike X-rays, protons can be manipulated to release most of their energy within the tumor with little or no dose in the tissue outside the tumor; it is this feature of proton beams which may result in great potential benefit for select cancer patients.

The Advantages for Patients

Potential advantages to proton therapy for cancer patients who are candidates for radiation therapy include:

  • Typically less side effects than conventional radiation treatment
  • Allows for safer treatment of tumors located close to critical organs and highly sensitive areas, such as the spinal cord, retina, optic nerves, heart, and brain.
  • Results in decreased risk of radiation-induced cancer as protons deposit less dose to surrounding normal tissue.
  • A potential treatment option for cancers that cannot be completely removed by surgery