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Who Can Benefit From Proton Therapy?

Studies have shown proton therapy to be effective in treating many types of tumors, including tumors of the prostate, brain, head and neck, central nervous system, lung, and gastrointestinal system as well as cancers that cannot be removed completely by surgery.1

Proton therapy is often the preferred option for treating solid tumors in children because protons can be controlled precisely so there is less radiation of normal tissues, helping prevent serious complications and lessening the chance of secondary tumors.2-3 Proton therapy research is ongoing and has shown promising results in the treatment of other tumors.


  1. National Association for Proton Therapy Web site. Accessed September 15, 2010.
  2. Lee CT, Bilton SD, Famiglietti RM, et al. Treatment planning with protons for pediatric retinoblasta, medulloblastoma, and pelvic sarcoma: how do protons compare with other conformal techniques? Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2005;63(2):362-372.
  3. Miralbell R, Lomax A, Cella L, Scheider U. Potential reduction of the incidence of radiation-induced second cancers by using proton beams in the treatment of pediatric tumors. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2002;54(3):824-829.
  4. Vargas C, Fryer A, Mahajan C, et al. Dose-volume comparison of proton therapy and intensity-modulated radiotherapy for prostate cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2008;70(3):744-751.
  5. Metz J. Reduced normal tissue toxicity with proton therapy. Proton Info Web site: Published April 28, 2002. Updated June 29, 2006. Accessed September 2, 2010.
  6. American Cancer Society. Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors in Adults. Updated August 12, 2010. Accessed September 15, 2010.
  7. Silander H, Pellettieri L, Enblad P, et al. Fractionated, stereotactic proton beam treatment of cerebral arteriovenous malformations. Acta Neurol Scand. 2004;109(2):85-90.