What is proton therapy and where it is used?

Proton therapy or also called proton beam therapy is non-invasive external beam radiotherapy procedure that uses proton beams to kill cancer cells and treats tumors that are in different locations. Protons are particle radiation which looses their energy in particular depth in the body causing virtually no exiting radiation. This means that the risk of damaging tissues around the tumor is even lower than with photon beams in standard radiation therapy. Proton beams shows better results for radio-resistant tumors such as sarcomas, melanoma, hepatocellular carcinoma and others. This treatment provides better dose distribution near critical structures. It is often used in treatment of lymphoma, head and neck cancers and childhood cancers to reduce possible late effects of radiation.

How proton therapy procedure is organized?

1. We collect all medical information which is reviewed by our radiation oncologist dr.Maris Mezeckis. Then we organize consultation with radiation oncologist with specialization in proton therapy. If specialist confirms that proton therapy is most appropriate treatment method, preparation for treatment can be started.

2. CT or MRI examination is done to ensure exact tumor location and determine patient positioning for treatment.

3. Physicists prepare patient plan, calculate dose volume and measure quality parameters of created plans.

4. Patient arrives and treatment can be started.

Things you should know about proton therapy:

  • patient feels no pain during procedure;

  • procedure cause no radioactivity during treatment and after that;

  • after procedure, patient can leave hospital, staying in hospital is not required (if not discussed with radiation oncologist otherwise);

  • protons do not have exit dose, meaning, that less healthy tissue can be damaged during treatment procedure comparing to photon radiotherapy.