Proton therapy for prostate cancer

Conventional radiation treatment can have serious quality of life implications—particularly relating to urinary, bowel and erectile function—for men with prostate cancer.


Proton therapy delivers less radiation to organs surrounding the prostate gland, minimizing the likelihood of these side effects. Men with higher-risk cancer potentially stand to benefit the most, since proton therapy can treat lymph nodes while significantly reducing the irradiation dose to the bowel and bladder compared with conventional irradiation. Protons can also reduce the odds of secondary cancers in the treated areas.


Proton therapy for prostate cancer is also highly effective in treating cancers that recur in patients who previously received radiation or a prostatectomy.


Prostate and other genitourinary cancers we treat with proton radiation therapy include

  • Localized prostate cancer (low, intermediate, and high risk)
  • Bladder tumors
  • Kidney cancers
  • Recurrent prostate or other genitourinary tumors
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 scanning technology at the New York Proton Center delivers “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 exact location, while better protecting the surrounding normal tissues from irradiation. 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 833-NYPROTON (833-697-7686) or fill out the appropriate form below.