Proton Therapy

Proton Therapy Graph

Protons are atoms that carry a positive charge. Just as x-rays (also known as photons) are used to treat both benign and malignant tumors, protons beams can be used to irradiate tumors in a similar way. There is no significant difference in the biological effects of protons versus photons (x-rays). However, protons deliver a dose of radiation in a much more precise way to the tumor tissue than photons. After they enter the body, protons release most of their energy within the tumor region and, unlike photons, deliver only a minimal dose beyond the tumor boundaries. Therefore, especially for smaller tumor sizes, the dose of radiation may conform much tighter to the tumor and there may be less damage to healthy tissue. As a result, the treating physician can potentially give an even greater dose to the tumor while minimizing unwanted side effects. This is especially important when treating children, because protons help reduce radiation to growing and developing tissues. Proton therapy is being used to treat tumors in these areas of the body: lung, liver , breast , prostate, brain, skull base, head and neck, spine, eyes.

Proton Therapy Treatment

Proton equipments are much larger and more expensive than conventional x-ray equipments. Proton therapy is a type of particle beam therapy (Carbon). There are almost 100 particle beam treatment centers in the world, and about 180,000 patients have been treated with this therapy in the last 50 years.