How Does Proton Therapy Work?

Proton Therapy

Proton therapy is an advanced type of cancer treatment that uses a beam of protons delivered directly to the tumor, destroying cancer cells while minimizing damage to healthy tissues.

Unlike traditional radiotherapy, protons have a unique stopping power. This means they can be targeted to deposit their cancer-fighting energy right at the tumor, thereby minimizing damage to surrounding healthy organs and tissue. Simpler forms of proton therapy have been in use for decades and it is now considered one of the most effective cancer treatments available today.

A key benefit of proton therapy is its precision. As the protons move through the body, they slow down and interact with atoms in the tumor tissue, releasing energy. The point where the highest energy release occurs is the “Bragg peak.” A physician can designate the Bragg peak’s location, indicating where to precisely target the tumor cells.

Proton therapy treatments typically take between 5 to 45 minutes depending on the number of treatment fields and the complexity of daily patient setup.