Proton Therapy

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Proton Therapy Treatment Rooms

Walk into any of the SCCA Proton Therapy, A ProCure Center’s three types of treatment rooms and you’ll see an adjustable positioning bed, a proton delivery nozzle—and an array of advanced technology. What you won’t see is the bulk of the technology that makes proton therapy possible. This includes the cyclotron that accelerates protons to two-thirds the speed of light, and the many massive electromagnets that guide the protons through what’s called a “beam line” to the individual treatment rooms.

Each of the rooms—the gantry, the inclined beam, and the fixed beam—make use of different devices that can be configured to meet the wide-ranging treatment needs of patients. The room where you receive treatment is selected based on your diagnosis and the location of your tumor. 

All four treatment rooms make use of a robotic patient-positioning system to position patients accurately for each treatment.

Gantry Room

The “gantry” is a wheel, 35 feet in diameter, that revolves around a patient to direct the proton beam to its precise target. The 360° rotation of the gantry gives radiation oncologists a high degree of flexibility in providing precision treatment. This configuration is particularly effective in treating pediatric patients, and hard-to-reach tumors in adult patients.  

From the patient’s perspective, the bulk of the gantry works behind the scenes: What’s visible is the revolving, cone-shaped delivery device.

Inclined-Beam Room

SCCA Proton Therapy, A ProCure Center has two inclined-beam treatment rooms. The inclined beam is a relatively new technology that can treat approximately 80% of the tumors that traditionally required a gantry. This room contains two treatment beams: one positioned horizontally with the beam parallel to the floor, and one at a 60° incline from the horizontal. 

The innovation of inclined-beam technology—the proton beam is “inclined” at 60 degrees—enables radiation oncologists to reach more tumors than can be treated with a beam fixed in a horizontal position. 

Fixed-Beam Room

The fixed-beam system utilizes a horizontal proton beam that is fixed in place. This system can target and treat a significant percentage of tumors. Although the actual delivery system doesn’t move, the precision and effectiveness of the therapy is identical to that delivered by the inclined beam and the gantry. 

Tumors that can be effectively treated by fixed-beam technology include many genitourinary cancers and some tumors located in the central nervous system. Each tumor is unique; our radiation oncologists determine the most effective beam configuration for each patient.