About Proton Therapy

Proton therapy is an FDA-cleared treatment that allows physicians to precisely control and conform the bulk of its cancer-fighting proton energy field on the cancerous cells, thereby minimizing extraneous radiation dose to healthy tissues, preserving organ function, and potentially reducing harmful side effects.  Proton therapy is medically necessary for many patients suffering from a variety of cancers, including breast, esophageal, lung, head and neck, central nervous system, and pediatric cancers, among others.

Proton therapy isn’t right for every cancer patient, but can offer a curative treatment for patients with no other options.  For patients who are not eligible for chemotherapy, traditional radiation or surgery, proton therapy may be their sole treatment alternative because of its unique ability to precisely target and destroy cancer cells. Proton therapy allows an increased dose of radiation to a cancerous tumor while decreasing the dose to adjacent critical structures.

Proton therapy is also a promising modality for delivering adequate doses to a target to potentially improve local control and decrease side effects. Data show patients who have received proton therapy experience limited negative side effects during treatment and are at lower risk of developing secondary cancers.  Because there are potentially fewer side effects, proton therapy may be associated with improved quality of life for many patients while undergoing treatment, allowing them to minimize loss of daily activity.

  • For breast cancer patients, proton therapy can improve target coverage, which can positively impact long term survival.
  • For esophageal cancer patients, proton therapy can reduce side effects including nausea and loss of appetite.
  • For lung cancer patients, proton therapy can deliver adequate doses to a target to improve local control and decrease side effects.
  • For head and neck cancer patients, proton therapy can result in significant improvement in quality of life because unnecessary radiation can be avoided.
  • For pediatric patients with tumors in the central nervous system, patients can benefit from reduced integral dose.

In addition to the clinical efficacy of proton therapy, the overall costs of treating a patient with proton therapy can be lower over time than other forms of cancer treatment because patients experience fewer long-term side effects and secondary conditions.



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"Proton beam radiation will target my tumor and not surrounding tissue, and to me is the clear choice. Unfortunately, my insurance company doesn’t agree with me or my team of medical experts and has denied coverage."

Patients and family members are the most powerful advocates for fair and timely proton therapy access. You know best what needless delays and denials of treatment can mean for patients who are fighting to survive cancer.