How many patients have received proton therapy?
Since the first hospital-based proton-treatment center opened in California in 1990, nearly 40,000 people have received proton therapy in the United States, and almost 75,000 people worldwide. Experts conservatively estimate that about 250,000 cancer patients in the United States could benefit from proton therapy.
What kinds of studies have been/are being done to prove the effectiveness of proton therapy?
There is a growing body of evidence supporting the effectiveness and benefits of proton therapy. The collection of evidence supporting proton therapy is growing rapidly as more and more proton centers open. In fact, our Center is a leader in the sharing and dissemination of research with our physicians and clinicians active at more than 20 academic conferences each year.
Can proton therapy be used in combination with other cancer treatments?
In many cases, yes. Proton therapy can be used in combination with chemotherapy, as a follow-up treatment to surgery, and in combination with standard X-ray radiation treatment. Patients of the Chicago Proton Center have the benefit of the Northwestern Medicine Cancer Center in Warrenville, which is located next to the proton center and offers multiple other cancer services and treatments.
Can proton therapy be used for all types of cancers in all patients?
Proton therapy is not appropriate for all types of cancers or all patients. Proton therapy is most effective in treating solid tumors that are well-defined and localized—those that have not spread to other areas of the body. If the tumor has spread (metastasized), proton therapy may still be an option, depending on the extent of the metastasis and other factors. Only a healthcare provider can determine the best approach for a patient's unique condition.
Discover more answers on our Frequently Asked Questions page.
If you are wondering what to expect from proton therapy treatment, visit our Questions About Proton Therapy page.