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Proton therapy – innovative, safe, effective

Updated: Aug 26, 2018

Proton therapy is the most effective treatment for tumors located near sensitive structures: optic nerves and -chiasm, brain stem and spinal cord.

Further, this method is applied as a safer alternative* for additional tumor types and -locations.

It requires highly sophisticated technology and is offered by only a few centers in the world.

In many cases, proton therapy offers higher chances for disease remission or cure.

In most cases, patients have fewer side effects.

* to surgery and to classical photon therapy

Proton therapy as the safer alternative and the perfect method in multimodal treatment

Proton therapy can be combined with surgery, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, immunotherapy, hyperthermia and other cancer therapies, depending on the stage and histological type of cancer.

Proton therapy is, in selected cases, offered as salvage therapy to patients with recurrences after previous radiotherapy.

In certain cases, proton therapy may be an alternative to brachytherapy, surgery or other invasive medical procedures.

In particular, proton therapy can be applied for the cure of following tumors:

- Prostate cancer

- Salivary glands

- Paranasal sinuses

- Rhinopharyngeal tumors

- Chordoma and chondrosarcomas of the skull base

- Intracranial tumors and brain tumors (optic nerve glioma, brain stem glioma, meningioma, pituitary tumors, astrocytomas, glioblastomas )

- Spinal- and spinal cord tumors

- Pancreatic cancer

- Liver cancer

- Pelvic recurrences of rectal cancer and other pelvic tumors

- Neurofibrosarcomas and other tumors of the peripheral nerves

- Sarcomas of the retroperitoneal space

- Local recurrences or lymphatic recurrences of various cancers (kidney, prostate, gynecological, malignant melanoma etc.)

- Selected breast cancers and recurrences from breast cancer

- Liver-, lung- and bone metastases

Other neoplasms, commonly occurring in the adolescence and in young adults:

• Mediastinal lymphomas

• Seminomas

Proton Radiotherapy has undeniable advantages in the treatment of childhood tumors, such as:

- Astrocytomas

- Craniopharyngeomas

- Ependymomas

- Optic nerve gliomas

- Hypothalamic gliomas

- Germinomas

- Myeloblastomas

- Meningiomas

- Neuroblastomas

- Retinoblastomas

- Peripheral Neuroectodermal tumors (PNET / Ewing sarcomas)

- Rhabdomyosarcomas

- Osteosarcomas

- Teratomas

Since this highly-effective and in many cases life-saving cancer therapy is not broadly available, many countries have implemented procedures and protocols for patient referral to proton therapy centers abroad.

In Germany, the costs of proton therapy are covered for specific tumors by health insurance funds.


written by

Dr. med. Thanasis Bagatzounis

Radiation Oncologist


Read the Greek version of the article / Για ελληνικά, πατήστε εδώ



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