The use of proton therapy to treat cancerous tumors is a major technological advance. Proton therapy delivers the beam precisely where it is required. After decades of development, its success is rapidly driving proton therapy out of research facilities and into regional treatment centers worldwide. Thanks to increasingly sophisticated imaging, delivery and scanning techniques, the options for treatment by proton therapy continue to expand.
Proton therapy offers unique clinical advantages that make it especially effective at treating a wide range of tumors, such as brain, spinal cord, and cancers of the eye. Using beams of positively charged nuclear particles, rather than conventional photon beams, Proton therapy can be precisely targeted to deliver highly focused doses in the tumor, while potentially sparing healthy surrounding tissue with possibly fewer side effects. Proton therapy delivers the beam precisely, thus reducing the risk of damaging healthy surrounding tissue. The dose to a patient is delivered at a specified depth in tissue, called the "Bragg Peak", and almost no dose that would otherwise be harmful to healthy tissue is deposited past that peak.
Proton therapy enables clinicians to precisely target tumors with radiation, which makes protons an excellent choice for treating a wide range of cancer cases including the following:
- central nervous system lesions (benign and malignant)
- bone and soft tissue
- head and neck
- gynecologic carcinoma