COVID-19 Update: Learn how New York Proton Center is taking all the necessary precautions to keep you safe.

Proton therapy for spinal tumors

Resuming a normal life after a spinal tumor. Read Sara's story.

For tumors occurring in or near the spine, conventional radiation carries risk. It can release excess radiation into the nerves and tissue that control your ability to move and feel.


With its pinpoint precision, proton therapy can release an optimal radiation dose into the spinal tumor while minimizing damage to vital, healthy cells, potentially preventing long-term side effects from treatment and offering higher chances of controlling the tumor.


Spinal tumors we treat with proton radiation therapy include

  • Chordomas
  • Chondrosarcomas
  • Desmoid tumors
  • Ependymomas
  • Sarcomas
  • Recurrent spine 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.