advanced radiation treatmentproton therapyJames Slater research chairGive to Proton Researchcancer treatmenttumor treatments


Proton Therapy Treatment


Proton therapy is the most precise form of advanced radiation treatment available for certain cancers and other diseases. Because it is so precise, it minimizes harm to surrounding tissues. All are treated as outpatients, usually allowing them to continue their normal activities while experiencing few or no side effects from the treatments.

Proton therapy is most effective when directed at single, well-defined tumors, especially ones close to sensitive nerves and organs, such as those growing in the lungs or prostate.

proton beam works

How a Proton Beam Works


A Gantry where treatment is received

Sufficient radiation can destroy any type of cancer. However, because of the inability to selectively irradiate the cancer with conventional means of treatment, normal tissues that receive a high radiation dose can also be damaged. As a consequence, a less-than-optimal dose is frequently used in order to reduce damage to the normal tissue. This precaution reduces the likelihood of cure for many patients.

Proton differs from conventional radiation in that the beam enters the body at a low absorption rate and increases in intensity at a specific point, called the Bragg peak. A series of peaks are focused on the tumor, giving it the highest concentration of radiation, killing the cells of the tumor. Not only is the dose of radiation to normal tissue sharply reduced compared to conventional radiation therapy, but the energy of the proton beam completely dissipates within the tumor, causing no damage to normal tissues beyond the tumor.

conditions treated by proton

Conditions that can be treated with protons at Loma Linda


Brain and spinal cord Isolated brain metastases
Pituitary adenomas
Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs)
Base of skull Meningiomas
Acoustic neuromas
Chordomas and chondrosarcomas
Eye Uveal melanomas
Head and neck Nasopharynx
Oropharynx (locally advanced)
Chest and abdomen Medically inoperable non-small-cell lung cancer
Chordomas and chondrosarcomas
Pelvis Prostate
Chordomas and chondrosarcomas
Tumors in children Brain
Orbital and ocular tumors
Sarcomas of the base of skull and spine


For more details see the Loma Linda University Medical Center site.

Dr. Jerry Slater talks about conditions that can be treated with proton therapy

Loma Linda University Hospital continues to make advances in conditions that can be treated with proton beam therapy. Dr. Jerry Slater speaks about the possibility of being able to treat seizures in children who do not respond to medication. LLUMC currently has this protocol under pre-human trial.

Additional funding can help turn these possibilities into reality. Please consider giving a gift to the James M. Slater Chair for Proton Research.

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