Lung and thoracic tumors

When lung cancer is treated with conventional radiation, it’s difficult to deliver a high enough dose without also exposing the esophagus, heart and spinal cord.


Proton therapy can effectively treat these tumors—particularly larger ones— while protecting critical structures from radiation. Breathing patterns can also be mapped, allowing the proton beam to switch on and off according to the tumor’s position within the breathing cycle. This minimizes side-effects such as lung inflammation (pneumonitis), difficulty swallowing and related problems.


Lung/thoracic cancers we treat

  • Malignant mesothelioma
  • Mediastinal tumors (thymoma and sarcoma)
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Small cell lung cancer
  • Select recurrent cancer
Patients at the New York Proton Center receive Pencil Beam Scanning, a highly sophisticated and most precise type of proton therapy. As the name implies, proton 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.
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 based on the prescription and tumor’s location. That’s particularly valuable when treating the most complicated tumors, those residing in the fissures of the head, neck and skull base.

How can we help?

Want to find out if proton therapy might be a good fit for you or your patient? Call us at 855-522-5009 or fill out the appropriate form below.