About Proton Therapy

What exactly is “proton therapy” cancer treatment?

Simply put, it’s the most precise form of radiation therapy available today. 

  • Unlike traditional radiation, protons stop at a certain depth and do not continue to travel through the body.
  • Surrounding healthy tissue is undamaged by radiation. 
  • Tumors close to important body structures (brain, spinal cord, optic nerve, heart, lung, bladder, and rectum) can be more safely treated.

Abdominal images comparing the amount of radiation to the tumor and healthy tissues.  Below are examples of tumors treated with proton therapy (below left) and standard X-rays (below right).  In both scenarios, the tumor is treated with radiation.  However, with proton therapy, a majority of the surrounding tissues beyond the tumor is spared.  With standard X-ray radiation, the surrounding healthy tissues receive considerably more radiation than with proton therapy.

Grey/white area indicates no radiation exposure.

With Protons

Colored area indicate radiation exposure.

With X-Rays