Treatment

Proton Therapy for Lung Cancer

Because it delivers the maximum amount of radiation to tumors, proton therapy is particularly well-suited to treat cancer in the lung and chest. This precision technology directly targets diseased tissue, while reducing radiation exposure to lungs, heart, spinal cord, esophagus, soft tissues and bone.

Proton can be an effective therapy for early-stage lung cancer patients who cannot undergo surgery. It can also be used when cancer has returned to areas that were previously irradiated or as a palliative treatment.

Proton treatments can also be used in conjunction with chemotherapy. Because less radiation hits areas outside the tumor, side effects and complications can often be reduced. Less exposure to healthy tissue can also minimize the risk of secondary cancers and other complications years after treatment.

Proton’s 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.

Chest and lung cancers treated

  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Small cell lung cancer
  • Malignant mesothelioma
  • Selected recurrent and metastatic cancer
  • Mediastinal tumors (thymoma, sarcoma)
  • Lymphoma

View the evidence supporting proton therapy as a treatment option for lung cancer.

Support services

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.