Treatable Tumors

Experience from more than 3000 treated cancer cases

These statements were based on more than 3000 patients irradiated at the RPTC. Each type of tumour has already been treated at the RPTC.

Head / Brain

Typical brain tumors Radiation in competition with surgical therapy, today with a clear tendency towards radiotherapy. High concentration of the radiation effect in the tumor while protecting healthy surrounding brain tissue avoids intelligence defects resulting from the radiation. In children and early adolescents, protons reduce the probability (after years or even decades) of a second tumour being triggered by radiation itself by an order of magnitude.
Tumours of the cranial nerves, e.g. acoustic neuroma Comparable effects with surgical interventions. Protection of the surrounding brain tissue with avoidance of further nerve failures and other damage.
Tumors of the pituitary gland Avoidance of a very invasive surgical intervention through the mouth. Concentration of the radiation effect on the pituitary gland under the protection of surrounding cranial nerves such as the eye nerve.
Tumours at the base of the skull, e.g. chordomas, chondrosarcomas Usually in combination with surgical procedures, which predominantly lead to incomplete tumour removal. Depending on the stage, increase of the healing effect to e.g. 20 % to 80 % probability compared to x-rays.


Tumors in the sinuses Preservation of the surroundings of the skull structures. Better protection of important organs, such as the eye nerves.
Tumors of the oral organs such as tongue, tonsils, base of tongue Good curative success with irradiation compared to surgery.
Tumors of the salivary glands and throat area Protection of uninvolved salivary glands. In these applications, the X-ray method as a transmission method usually damages the salivary glands on both sides. A state of massive vinvalidation. With proton therapy, one side of the salivary glands can be preserved completely functionally.

Lung and Thorax

Lung tumours (non-small-cell) / small-cell bronchial carcinoma Lung metastases Carcinomas of the pleura The treatment of bronchial carcinoma achieves different results depending on the stage of surgery or radiation. The operation is usually performed through chest wall incisions, not endoscopically. It has the disadvantage that, especially in older people, the respiratory mechanics are permanently hindered by damage to the rib structure. Therefore, there is a high operative treatment risk, which the radiation procedures avoid. In the area of the thorax, the advantages of proto-therapy over X-rays come to bear massively: X-rays work with non-stoppable, non-three-dimensional X-rays, which practically always damage the second, healthy lung. The damage caused by this scattered radiation is very high because the healthy lung tissue reacts with pneumonia even at a low dose (18 Gray), which cannot be avoided with X-rays because the dose requirement of the tumours is higher (e.g. 70 Gray). With protons, it is always possible to irradiate the tumour with high doses, which is completely gentle on the mutual lungs and maintains respiratory function.

Abdominal Cavity

Esophageal carcinomas The surgical treatment of esophageal carcinomas required a replacement of the esophagus between stomach and throat by a raised part of the colon. This is a very large procedure (three-hole surgery), which involves a high risk in the elderly. Radiation avoids this risk. Here again, the concentration of the proton effect in the tumor area protects the environment, here again the lungs and damages the patient much less.
Pancreatic tumors If the condition is good, an operation should always be attempted, a massive operation with removal of intestines and stomach parts. Since the carcinomas of the pancreas often form metastases before they cause symptoms and are detected diagnostically, postoperative radiation is almost the rule, e.g. for liver metastases. Due to the unfavourable dose progressions of X-rays, tumor sterilizing radiation or post-radiation into the pancreas is not possible with a satisfactory dose due to unavoidable environmental damage (kidney, intestine). This is the domain of proton therapy, which can specifically cover the pancreas without significant environmental damage in these organs. Modern proton scanning methods allow the simultaneous treatment of already existing liver metastases.
Tumors of the liver and bile ducts Liver metastases can be surgically removed, e.g. simultaneous carcinoma operations in the upper abdomen. Isolated, this surgical effort makes little sense and radiation will be preferable, which also applies to bile duct carcinomas. It is important that 1200 millilitres of liver tissue is not touched by radiation. This is much better possible with protons than with both x-rays; in certain cases up to 8 liver metastases were sterilized with the scanning system in an environmentally friendly way. Even very large single metastases are far more accessible to the dose distribution guaranteed by protons.
Tumours of the rectum and anus While the higher, movable parts of the intestine cannot be irradiated, it is basically possible with the fixed deeper rectum and the anal area. The use of protons allows the protection of the closer (e.g. prostate) and further (e.g. hip joints) environment due to the precise dose concentration in the tumor area.

Prostate / Urogenital

Prostate carcinomas and relapses While extensive prostate carcinomas with environmental infiltration must be irradiated or post-irradiated anyway: At all stages, the irradiation results up to 15 years after the observation period are fully comparable with surgical results. However, unlike surgery, incontinence is not triggered and catastrophic impotence is not to be expected. Proton radiation concentrated on the prostate protects the environment, e.g. the hip joints. It also ensures a massive shortening of the treatment time due to the radiation concentration in the tumour and the better protection of the environment: The RPTC treats prostate cases with only 21 radiation days instead of 41 as conventional. In selected early cases, a reduction to only 5 radiation days is possible. The most frequent treatment failures are caused by undetected metastases in the lymph drainage area directly upwards along the abdominal artery. At the RPTC, lymph nodes are searched for using the most modern methods (whole-body magnetic resonance imaging, PSMA-PET-CT). If the lymph node is found and there is also a high statistical risk (according to PSA values and Gleason scores), this lymph node area is irradiated with the precise proton scanning system. Conventional X-rays, including more modern methods (such as Cyber-Knife, IMRT), are generally not used to practice this radiation field extension, as the imprecise X-rays can endanger the intestine.
Urinary bladder carcinomas In competition to the operation there is a radiation indication here. This can be treated with protons in an environmentally friendly way.
Tumors of the female pelvis If organs are located here, irradiation procedures can be examined in combination with surgery or in isolation. Massive environmental protection with protons.


Sarcomas and chordomas (with second most frequent localization) in coccyx environment In combination with operations or without, there is a basic indication for radiation here. Particularly in the skull (see above) clearly better healing successes by precise radiation localization.
Lymph nodes Lymph nodes of different origins should always be considered as an indication for radiation. Precise “picking out” of individual lymph nodes or metastases with protons is possible without harming the environment.
Metastases Consideration of the irradiation indication, due to propagation, irradiation more meaningful than surgical removal.
Lymphomas In the case of some local blood cancers, such as Hodgkin’s disease, the places of origin are often irradiated. This is advantageously possible with protons, again in an environmentally friendly manner and concentrated on e.g. the lymphoma-bearing bone marrow.