Proton therapy for lung cancer

Every tumor of the lung presents its own unique set of treatment challenges, requiring a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation that’s right for you. Conventional radiation treatments, while effective, expose surrounding healthy tissue such as the heart and esophagus to excess radiation, which can lead to an increased risk of major coronary events later in life. A recent study showed that any radiation exposure to the heart was a strong predictor of mortality.

Call for more information

Chemotherapy Treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. It may be given alone or with other treatments. Treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. Chemotherapy may be given by mouth, injection, infusion or on the skin, depending on the type and stage of the cancer being treated. It may be given alone or with other treatments, such as surgery, radiation therapy or biologic therapy.

Schedule a call with a patient care coordinator

Thank you for your interest in proton therapy. Please take a moment to fill out the form to have a patient care coordinator call you.

Once the form is completed, you will receive a confirmation email. Our team generally returns calls within 48 hours Monday through Friday between 8:00am and 4:00pm. If you would like to speak with a patient care coordinator quickly, please call us at 1-855-528-7248.


Checklist of items you will need for your initial call with us

You provide:
  • Demographic information (legal name, etc.)
  • Insurance information
  • Related doctor and facility information
Ask your specialist(s) to provide:
  • Pathology report
  • Clinical notes
  • Imaging
  • Records regarding significant past medical history or surgeries

This form is unsecured and is for general information requests only. Please do not use this form for questions or comments regarding personal health information or for time-sensitive matters.

Electronic communication with the SCCA Proton Therapy Center, whether by email or through this website, is an unsecured means of communication. The SCCA Proton Therapy Center cannot guarantee the confidentiality or privacy of information communicated electronically. Such information may be read by people other than yourself or your healthcare provider (such as your employer if you use your work email or computer, your internet service provider, or an administrative employee). In addition, electronic communication is not a reliable means of communication regarding time-sensitive matters.

CAPTCHA This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

With standard X-ray therapy, radiation is at its highest as it enters the body, and delivers an exit dose as it continues on past the tumor.

Until recently, the risk of these side effects were accepted as necessary to appropriately treat the cancer. Thanks to more widespread availability of proton therapy, these risks can be mitigated. With proton therapy, treatment is delivered precisely to the tumor, so less radiation is delivered to the surrounding healthy tissue.

Side effects A problem that occurs when treatment affects healthy tissues or organs. Some side effects of cancer treatment are nausea, vomiting, fatigue, pain, decreased blood cell counts, hair loss and mouth sores.
lung proton therapy

Proton therapy takes advantage of a unique characteristic of protons—they deliver their maximum dose of radiation, known as the Bragg Peak, right before they come to a stop. There is no exit dose. That’s how the damage is concentrated on the cancer, protecting healthy tissue.

If you’ve been diagnosed with lung cancer, the radiation oncology specialists at our proton therapy facility are available to give a second opinion and determine if proton therapy is right for you.

Bragg Peak Diagram

Proton therapy facts

  • Radiation exposure to the heart increases the likelihood of heart complications later in life by 7.4 percent per gray (a measurement unit of radiation).
  • A recent study showed that any radiation exposure to the heart was a strong predictor of mortality.
  • Proton therapy reduces the radiation exposure to surrounding tissue and organs.
  • Pencil-beam scanning allows treatment to conform the size, shape and depth of your lung cancer tumor, “painting” on radiation, accurate within millimeters.
  • Proton therapy is often the only radiation treatment available if you’ve already received radiation from a previous cancer occurrence.
  • As of 2022, more than 200,000 people worldwide have received proton therapy at centers in Europe, Asia and the United States.