A cancer treatment unlike any other

Proton therapy at a glance

Remarkable precision. Ultimate control. Fewer treatment-related complications.

 

These are the defining features of proton therapy cancer treatment, an advanced form of radiation treatment that targets and destroys cancer tumors while reducing the risks of harmful side-effects. For patients with complex tumors, patients with tumors that come back after prior treatment, and children with cancer, proton therapy is an ideal and uniquely effective alternative to traditional radiation.

Watch one child's journey with proton therapy

Patients at the New York Proton Center receive Pencil Beam Scanning, a highly sophisticated and precise type of proton therapy.

 

As the name implies, Pencil Beam Scanning uses an extremely narrow beam to “dot” the protons onto the tumor. The process is repeated, layer by layer, like paint applied by the tip of an incredibly fine brush.

Noteworthy benefits

Because it’s so precise, Pencil Beam Scanning is highly effective at treating the most challenging tumors:

  • Complex
  • Irregularly shaped
  • Wrapped around other structures
  • Difficult-to-reach
  • Close to vital tissues in the brain, spine, head and neck, or chest
  • Recurring following prior treatment

Regardless of tumor type, the advantages of proton beam therapy are three-fold:

Passing through with barely a trace.

Proton beams can be customized to travel to specified depth in the body—in this case directly to the tumor—and then stop. They release less radiation as they enter the body, and none at all as they pass the tumor.

Targeting the tumor and only the tumor

Pencil beam scanning is able to precisely conform the radiation doses to the size and shape of the tumor. The radiation is concentrated into the cancer cells, with very little risk to surrounding tissue. So side effects are minimized.

A highly concentrated dose

Because proton therapy targets the tumor so narrowly, it can deliver a much higher and more effective dose of radiation than conventional X-ray therapy with less impact on adjacent tissues.

Not all proton therapy is created equal

Most proton centers use “volumetric” beams that deliver a fixed quantity of energy to the entire tumor. But the pencil beam scanners at the New York Proton Center deliver “intensity-modulated proton therapy,” or IMPT.

 

Widely considered the most advanced form of proton therapy, IMPT can target different parts of the tumor with different radiation dose levels to most precisely and effectively treat the tumor. That’s particularly valuable when treating the most complicated tumors, such as those residing in brain or spine, head and neck, lungs and chest, and abdomen.

Forging the future of proton therapy

The New York Proton Center is part of a large medical community working to advance the body of research on intensity modulated proton therapy and further its effectiveness and efficiency for treating cancer.
Read about the research supporting proton therapy

How can we help?

Want to find out if proton therapy might be a good fit for you or your patient? Call us at 833-NYPROTON (833-697-7686) or fill out the appropriate form below.