Proton Therapy for Gastrointestinal and Colorectal Cancers
Scripps Proton Therapy Center provides advanced radiation treatments for gastrointestinal and colorectal cancers.
Protons deposit their maximum therapeutic dose directly in the tumor. As a result, patients being treated for gastrointestinal or colorectal cancers receive smaller radiation doses to healthy structures adjacent to tumors, such as small intestine, lung, esophagus, heart, kidney and spinal cord. With the accuracy of proton therapy, patients may experience a reduced chance of side effects and secondary cancers.
The clinical and scientific teams have more than 90 years of combined experience treating patients with proton therapy. Learn more about the experts at the center.
From diagnosis and treatment to navigation and support, Scripps offers comprehensive cancer care. Learn how proton therapy further complements these services.
Proton Radiation Treatment for Gastrointestinal (GI) and Colorectal Cancers
Patients with gastrointestinal or colorectal cancers often undergo aggressive treatments to cure their disease, including combinations of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Because these cancer treatments can generate side effects, it’s important to make radiation therapy as gentle as possible.
Protons deposit their maximum energy in the targeted tissue, bringing less radiation to nearby organs and other critical structures. These benefits are especially pronounced for patients with advanced GI cancers of the pancreas, liver, esophagus and rectum. In these cases, protons can reduce unnecessary radiation to the bowel, heart, kidneys, spinal cord and bone.
This accuracy is even further enhanced by Scripps’ advanced imaging and pencil beam scanning technology, which focuses a narrow proton beam — smaller than the width of a pencil — to precisely target tumors.
Gastrointestinal cancers treated
Scripps Proton Therapy Center treats a number of gastrointestinal cancers, including:
- Liver cancer and liver metastases
- Esophageal cancer
- Gastric (stomach) cancer
- Pancreatic cancer and bile duct cancer
- Rectal cancer
- Anal cancer
- Selected recurrent cancer and metastases
Cancer treatment can be a difficult time for both patients and their families. Understanding this, Scripps offers a wide variety of care to ease the burden. Learn more about the support services available.
What to expect
Each patient’s therapy is precisely tailored to their needs. Patients and clinicians collaborate closely to create a personalized treatment plan. The number and length of treatments will vary, based on the cancer. How patients respond depends on many factors, including the types of treatments they are receiving. Many people tolerate proton therapy well and continue to perform normal activities. However individual responses vary. Learn more about what to expect during treatment at Scripps Proton Therapy Center.
Proton therapy is a highly precise form of external radiation therapy that can be used for tumor control in select patients. All cancer treatments have advantages and disadvantages. Be sure to discuss these, as well as treatment options, with your cancer specialist.
Proton Therapy for Gastrointestinal and Colorectal Cancers Research
- Intensity-modulated proton therapy further reduces normal tissue exposure during definitive therapy for locally advanced distal esophagus
- Phase I study of preoperative short-course chemoradiation with proton beam therapy and Capecitabine for resectable pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma of the head
- Proton Offers Reduced Normal-Tissue Exposure for Patients Receiving Post-Operative Radiotherapy for Resected Pancreatic Head Cancer