Proton Therapy for a Critical Region

Tumors in the base-of-skull region, including chordomas and chondrosarcomas, are difficult to treat because they are often close to critical structures such as the brainstem, brain, cranial nerves and optic nerves. The location of these tumors often makes surgical removal difficult and limits the dose of radiation that can be delivered with standard X-ray radiation treatments. Proton therapy can be particularly appropriate for these tumors because it minimizes radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissue.2-5

Northwestern Medicine Chicago Proton Center is one of the few proton therapy centers throughout the Midwest and the only one in Illinois. Our team is dedicated to explaining all of your treatment options for base-of-the-skull tumors and facilitating a conversation with you and your physician or oncologist to determine the best course of treatment for you.

Request more information, or call 1.877.887.5807 to learn if you can benefit from proton therapy.

Spot scanning
Image adapted from "Spot-scanning proton radiation therapy."5.

The Advantages of Proton Therapy for Base-of-Skull Tumors

Skull base tumors can be complicated. Proton therapy is often able to deliver a high dose of radiation precisely conform to the tumor with less damage to the surrounding tissue of the brain and spinal cord.2 The more radiation delivered to the tumor, the greater the chance of completely destroying it.1

As part of the Northwestern Medicine cancer care network, the team at Chicago Proton Center can help you understand the advantages of proton therapy for your diagnosis.

What to Expect with Proton Therapy

Proton therapy is considered safe, non-invasive and painless. Depending on the patient's diagnosis, treatments for base-of-skull tumors are usually given five days a week for up to eight weeks.

Patients continue with normal activities before and after treatment. Some patients choose to work; others go on a “radiation vacation” and spend their days doing recreational activities before or after treatment.

Contact Us

To discover if you or a loved one could benefit from proton therapy, please call us at 877.887.5807 (TTY for hearing impaired, call 630.933.4833) or request more information.

Video Library

We have created a library of several videos for you with key information such as:

  • What is Proton Therapy?
  • Benefits of Proton Therapy
  • Real patient stories/testimonials regarding specific tumor types
  • Virtual tour of the proton center