Proton Therapy Benefits

Proton therapy for cancer has many clinical benefits compared to traditional radiation therapy

Proton Therapy is Clinically Proven to Lower the Risk of Side Effects

As one of the world’s most advanced forms of radiation treatment for cancer, proton therapy has many clinical benefits. Proton therapy destroys cancer cells and minimizes damage to nearby healthy tissue and organs. This lowers the risk of negative side effects during and after treatment. Several clinical studies have been published in highly respected medical journals showing the benefits of proton therapy treatment for a wide variety of cancer types.

Proton Therapy Benefits by Cancer Type


Lower Risk of Side Effects

  • Proton therapy patients experienced a two-thirds reduction in the relative risk of severe side effects within 90 days of treatment (when compared to traditional x-ray radiation therapy)1
  • Only 11.5% of proton therapy patients experienced a severe side effect in the 90-day time frame compared to 27.6% of traditional x-ray radiation patients1

Brain Cancer

Increased Disease Control

  • 31% increase in disease control for aggressive tumors at base of skull (chordomas) at five years2

Decreased Risk of Secondary Cancer

  • 50% less likely to have secondary brain tumor from treatment3

Reduced Radiation Dose

  • 55% reduction in average dose to the hippocampi (memory function) in treatment of meningioma4


Learn more about Proton Therapy treatment for Brain Cancer

Prostate Cancer

Increased Survival Rate

  • 5% higher five-year overall survival for intermediate risk prostate cancer patients5

Improved Quality of Life

  • Proton therapy patients report highest quality of life compared to surgery, x-ray, or brachytherapy patients6

Reduced Radiation Dose

  • 35% less radiation to the bladder7
  • 59% less radiation to the rectum7
  • 21% lower risk of urinary toxicity at 2 years9

Lower Risk of Short and Long-Term Side Effects

  • 25% lower risk of erectile dysfunction at 2 years10
  • 50% reduction in treatment related bowel frequency and urgency at two years9
  • 42% reduction in relative risk of developing a secondary malignancy8


Learn More about Proton Therapy Treatment for Prostate Cancer

Breast Cancer

Reduced Radiation Dose to Heart & Lungs

  • 88% less radiation dose to the heart for left sided breast cancer11,12
  • 44% reduction in clinically significant radiation doses to the lung12

Lower Risk of Side Effects

  • Well tolerated – Less than 4% serious side effects (grade 3) in locally advanced breast cancer.12

Favorable Cosmetic Outcomes

  • 90% of partial breast irradiation cases result in good to excellent cosmetic outcomes at 5 years.13


Learn More about Proton Therapy Treatment for Breast Cancer

Lung Cancer

Increased Survival Rates

  • 35% relative increase in overall survival for Stage II & III lung cancer14

Fewer Side Effects

  • 56% relative reduction in incidences of serious (grade 3) pain with swallowing (esophagitis)15

Reduced Time in Treatment

  • Up to 4-week reduction in treatment time for select cases16


Learn More about Proton Therapy Treatment for Lung Cancer

Head and Neck Cancers

27% reduction in overall risk of needing a feeding tube for oropharyngeal cancer.17

Less side effects first 3 months after treatment, quicker return to normal function in patients with oropharyngeal cancer.18

45% reduction in overall risk of needing a feeding tube for nasopharyngeal cancer.19

Dramatic reduction of negative impact on taste, nausea, and painful changes to the mouth in salivary gland treatment.20

44% relative increase in disease free survival rate for nasal and paranasal sinus cavity cancers at 5 years.21

Learn More about Proton Therapy Treatment for Head and Neck Cancers

Esophageal Cancer

10% increase in overall survival at 5 years in stage I-III disease.22

10% increase in local cancer control at 5 years in stage II-III.22

15% decrease in distant metastasis at 5 years in stage II-III.22

26% reduction in pulmonary toxicity compared with X-ray therapy (IMRT).23

21% reduction in the risk of severe, treatment related lymphopenia, particularly in lower esophagus.24

3-4-day reduction in average hospital stay after surgery.25

Learn More about Proton Therapy Treatment for Esophageal Cancer

Rectal/Anal Cancers

Liver Cancer

Contact Your Proton Therapy Center

Want to know more about proton therapy? The Cancer Care Experts at Provision are ready to help. Contact a proton therapy treatment location below to request more information or schedule a consultation.

Partner With Provision Healthcare

For general inquiries or to learn about our collaborative partnerships, future developments, innovative proton therapy system, or investment opportunities, contact Provision Healthcare.

Sources and Studies

1. Baumann BC, Mitra N, Harton JG, Xiao Y, Wojcieszynski AP, Gabriel PE, Zhong H, Geng H, Doucette A, Wei J, O’Dwyer PJ, Bekelman JE, Metz JM. Comparative effectiveness of proton therapy versus photon therapy as part of concurrent chemo-radiotherapy for locally advanced cancer. American Society of Clinical Oncology poster session. June 1, 2019.

2. Effectiveness and Safety of Spot Scanning Proton Radiation Therapy for Chordomas and Chondrosarcomas of the Skull Base: First Long-Term Report. Read More

3. A comparison of critical structure dose and toxicity risks in patients with low grade gliomas treated with imrt versus proton radiation therapy. Read More

4. Projected second tumor risk and dose to neurocognitive structures after proton versus photon radiotherapy for benign meningioma. Read More

5.Proton Therapy Is Associated with Superior Survival and Decreased Risk of Complications Compared to IMRT for Intermediate Risk Prostate Cancer: A Medicare/SEER Database Study.

6.Bryant Survey Results.

7.Dose–Volume Comparison of Proton Therapy and Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer. Read More

8.Proton Therapy Is Associated with Superior Survival and Decreased Risk of Complications Compared to IMRT for Intermediate Risk Prostate Cancer: A Medicare/SEER Database Study.

9.Comparative Effectiveness Study of Patient-Reported Outcomes following Proton Therapy or IMRT for Prostate Cancer. Read More

10.Comparative toxicity and cost of Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy, Proton Radiation, and Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy Among Younger Men With Prostate Cancer. Read More

11.Phase III randomized trial proton vs photon therapy for patients with non-metastatic breast cancer receiving comprehensive nodal radiation: A radiotherapy comparative effectiveness (RADCOMP) Consortium trial.

12.Early Toxicity in Patients Treated With Postoperative Proton Therapy for Locally Advanced Breast Cancer. Read More

13.Partial Breast Radiation Therapy With Proton Beam: 5-Year Results With Cosmetic Outcomes. Read More

14.National Cancer Database Analysis of Proton Versus Photon Radiaion Therapy in NSCLC. Read More

15.Proton Beam Radiotherapy and Concurrent Chemotherapy for Unresectable Stage III Non–Small Cell Lung CancerFinal Results of a Phase 2 Study. Read More

16.High-dose hypofractionated proton beam radiation therapy is safe and effective for central and peripheral early-stage non-small cell lung cancer: results of a 12-year experience at Loma Linda University Medical Center. Fractionation 10 for PBT vs 6-8 weeks for IMRT. Read More

17.Gastrostomy Tubes Decrease by Over 50% With Intensity Modulated Proton Therapy (IMPT) During the Treatment of Oropharyngeal Cancer Patients. Read More

18.Intensity Modulated Proton Therapy Versus Intensity Modulated Photon RT for Oropharyngeal Cancer: First Comparative Results of Patient Reported Outcomes. Read More

19.Proton therapy reduces treatment-related toxicities for patients with nasopharyngeal cancer: a case-match control study of IMPT and IMRT. Read More

20.Proton beam radiation therapy results in significantly reduced toxicity compared with intensity-modulated radiation therapy for head and neck tumors that require ipsilateral radiation. Read More

21.Charged particle therapy versus photon therapy for paranasal sinus and nasal cavity malignant diseases: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Read More

22.Comparative Outcomes After Definitive Chemoradiotherapy Using Proton Beam Therapy Versus IMRT for Esophageal Cancer: A Retrospective, Single-Institutional Analysis. Read More

23.A Multi-Institutional Analysis of Trimodality Therapy for Esophageal Cancer in Elderly Patients. Read More

24.Lymphocyte-sparing Effect of proton therapy in patients with esophageal cancer treated with definitive chemoradiation. Read More

25.Multi-institutional analysis of radiation modality use and postoperative outcomes of neoadjuvant chemoradiation for esophageal cancer. Read More

26.Scanning proton beam therapy reduces normal tissue exposure in pelvic radiotherapy for anal cancer. Read More

27.Multi-Institutional Phase II Study of High Dose Hypofractionated Proton Beam Therapy in Patients With Localized, Unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma. Read More

28.Five-Year Biochemical Results, Toxicity, and Patient-Reported Quality of Life After Delivery of Dose-Escalated Image Guided Proton Therapy for Prostate Cancer. Read More