Proton Beam Radiation Therapy

The American Cancer Society estimates that 1.6 million people in the United States are diagnosed with cancer each year. Although significant strides have been made in reducing the mortality rate and morbidity caused by cancer, it remains the second leading cause of death among Americans. Radiation therapy, a non-invasive treatment, has been a significant factor in improving the outcomes of cancer patients. As many as 60% of these patients receive some form of radiation therapy during their course of treatment. Proton beam radiation therapy (PBRT) is emerging as the latest treatment option that can make a significant impact in our fight against cancer.

PBRT is a precise form of radiation treatment that treats tumors with protons instead of photons, which are used by conventional radiation therapy devices (linear accelerators). Protons release almost all of their energy in a burst of radiation delivered directly to the tumor. Since less of a dose is delivered to surrounding healthy tissue, proton therapy is particularly useful for targeting tumors close to sensitive areas and in treating children. By minimizing damage to healthy tissue and surrounding organs, proton therapy treatment is highly successful and may result in fewer side-effects.

Currently PBRT treats prostate, eye, cranial-spinal, head and neck, lung, liver, and breast tumors. It is especially useful in pediatric cases. Additionally, the benefits of PBRT for colorectal and pancreatic cancers are being explored.

Most of the PBRT systems in use today were extremely expensive to build since the technology required three to five treatment rooms and football field-sized facilities. Therefore, there are only about 30 PBRT centers in the United States, which limits patient access to this superior technology. The advent of single-room systems has accelerated the adoption of PBRT.

If you are interested in this cutting-edge technology, we will work with you to finance single- or two-room facilities from a variety of manufacturers to suit your needs. Click here for information about flexible financing.


Construction of The Marjorie and Leonard Williams Center for Proton Therapy at Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center. Presented by Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center.