Proton Therapy

proton therapy beam room

Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation treatment. It utilizes protons instead of X-rays to accurately treat cancer. A proton is a positively charged particle. When the protons are at high energy, they are able to combat cancer cells.

How does proton therapy work?

For protons to be effective against cancer, they need to be at high energy. A machine called a cyclotron helps the protons achieve this high energy. Then, the protons are able to travel to a specific depth in the body where they can deposit the specified radiation dose in the tumor.

How does proton therapy compare to traditional treatment?

Proton therapy is accurate and precise in depositing the radiation dose into the tumor. Due to the high level of precision, there is less damage to healthy tissues in comparison to traditional treatment. As a result, proton therapy patients experience fewer side effects.

Proton radiation is useful in treating the following cancers/tumors:

Brain and skull base tumors

  • acoustic neuroma
  • astrocytoma
  • benign neoplasm
  • clival chordoma/sarcoma
  • skull base chondrosarcoma
  • ependymoma
  • glioma
  • hemangioma
  • meningioma
  • pituitary adenoma
  • craniopharyngioma

Ocular/orbital and eye tumors

  • ocular neoplasm and metastasis
  • choroidal/uveal melanoma
  • lacrimal gland tumors
  • retinoblastoma
  • orbital tumors

Head and neck cancers

  • nasopharyngeal carcinoma
  • paranasal sinus
  • adenoid cystic carcinomas
  • major salivary glands

Prostate cancer

  • low risk
  • intermediate risk
  • high risk
  • post prostatectomy

Abdominal/pelvic tumors

  • primary liver tumors (HCC)
  • biliary tree carcinoma
  • pancreatic cancer

Lung and thoracic cancers

  • esophageal carcinoma
  • lymphoma
  • non-small cell lung carcinoma
  • thymoma

Soft tissue tumor/sarcomas

  • soft tissue sarcoma
  • osteogenic sarcoma/Ewing’s sarcoma
  • chondrogenic sarcoma
  • aggressive/benign tumors

Benign lesions

  • arteriovenous malformation
  • juenile angiofibroma


  • High risk post-mastecomy, left-sided

Can proton therapy treat children with cancers/tumors?

Yes, proton therapy can treat many types of cancers/tumors in children. In fact, it may be a preferable option in the case of a tumor being close to an organ or structure. The precision and high energy of proton therapy allows for less damage to healthy tissue and less side effects compared to traditional treatment.

Pediatric cancers

  • astrocytoma/glioma
  • atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT)
  • chordoma/chondrosarcoma
  • cranio pharyngioma
  • ependymoma
  • Ewing’s sarcoma
  • ganglioglioma
  • germ cell tumors/germinoma
  • hemangioma
  • Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • medulloblastoma


  • meningioma
  • neuroblastoma
  • optic glioma
  • osteosarcoma
  • paraspinal tumors/sarcomas
  • pineoblastoma
  • primitive neuro-ectodermal tumor (PNET)
  • rhabdomyosarcoma
  • soft tissue sarcomas
  • Wilms’ tumor

Beaumont Proton Therapy Center RenderingWhen Will Proton Therapy be Available?

The Proton Therapy Center is currently under construction in Royal Oak, MI. The first patients are expected to undergo treatment in Spring 2017.

Follow the progress on the Proton Therapy Center.