Proton therapy for central nervous system tumors

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Central nervous system tumors include tumors near the brain, spine and base of skull.

Proton therapy is often recommended to treat brain, spine and skull based tumors because of the proximity to delicate and vital tissues and organs. Proton therapy delivers less radiation to the brain stem and other healthy tissue than traditional radiation therapy, reducing the likelihood of side effects.

With proton therapy, the healthy tissue around the tumor and the critical organs has been spared any additional radiation. Some of the normal brain tissues receives 50 percent less radiation than with X-rays.


Proton therapy can be particularly beneficial for brain tumor patients because the brain is in close proximity to many critical organs, structures and other parts of the nervous system.

Base of skull

Tumors near the base of the skull are often difficult to treat because they are so close to critical structures such as the brainstem, spinal cord and optic nerves. Proton therapy can be particularly appropriate for these tumors because it minimizes radiation exposure to the surrounding healthy tissue.

Tumors treated include:

  • acoustic neuroma
  • astrocytoma
  • atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT)
  • benign neoplasm
  • clival chordoma/sarcoma
  • craniopharyngioma
  • ependymoma
  • ganglioglioma
  • germ cell tumors/germinoma
  • hemangioma
  • medulloblastoma
  • meningioma
  • ·optic glioma
  • paraspinal tumors/sarcomas
  • pineoblastoma
  • pituitary adenoma
  • primitive neuro-ectodermal tumor (PNET)
  • skull base chondrosarcoma

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