What is proton therapy?
Proton therapy is a therapy for the treatment of cancerous ulcers, i.e. malignant tumours. Proton beams are generated and accelerated in a synchrotron or cyclotron, for example, and shot specifically at the tumor.
The method is used in particular for patients in whom conventional X-ray radiation cannot be used sufficiently because the tumour is either too deep in the body or surrounded by sensitive organs. Proton therapy enables an optimised dose distribution within the region to be irradiated.
Through proton radiation, higher effective doses are possible in the tumour, with much lower side effects at the same time. More information about the clinical advantages of proton therapy can be found under; Why proton therapy?
History of proton therapy
Proton therapy was used for the first time in Loma Linda Hospital, California (1990), where 16,000 patients with more than 50 types of tumours have been treated to date.
In Europe, the Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland, has been researching proton therapy since 1984 (the world’s first research facility) and treating patients, mainly children’s tumors, in collaboration with the University Hospital of Zurich.
The Rinecker Proton Therapy Centre in Munich is the first certified private centre in Europe, has treated over 4000 patients with various tumours since 2009 and is therefore the most experienced proton therapy centre.
In addition to the aforementioned RPTC and PSI, there are a further 72 proton therapy facilities worldwide; in Spain, facilities are to be built in Madrid in 2019 and 2020. A detailed list of existing and planned projects can be found at www.ptcog.ch.
On this informative page, data on treatable and treated tumours in the worldwide centres will also be published.