Conditions Treated

Proton Therapy for Cancer Treatment

Proton therapy can be used to treat many types of cancer in addition to other conditions typically treated with X-ray radiation.

The decision to use proton therapy is based on tumor stage, type and location. The medical team at Scripps Proton Therapy Center can help to assess whether proton cancer treatment is an option for you.

Carl Rossi, MD, medical director of Scripps Proton Therapy Center, discusses the numerous types of cancer and tumors that can be treated with proton therapy, including breast cancer and brain tumors, and how this treatment option can potentially minimize side-effects that other radiation treatments may produce years later.

Tumors and cancers that may be treated with protons

Bladder cancer

  • Transitional cell carcinoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma of the bladder

Breast cancer

  • Early stage breast cancer
  • Locally advanced breast cancer (stage II and III)
  • Ductal carcinoma in-situ
  • Triple-negative breast cancer
  • Lobular carcinoma

Cancerous and non-cancerous brain and spine (central nervous system, or CNS) tumors

  • Glioma and hypothalamic tumor
  • Meningioma
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Spinal cord tumors
  • Ependymoma
  • Pituitary tumors or pituitary adenoma
  • Skull-based tumors

Stomach or gastrointestinal and colorectal cancers

Head and neck cancers

  • Base of skull cancers
  • Larynx cancer (voice box)
  • Lip cancer
  • Oral and mouth cancers
  • Salivary gland cancer
  • Sinus cancer (nasopharyngeal)
  • Throat cancer (nasopharyngeal, hypopharyngeal, oropharyngeal)
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Tongue or tonsil cancer (oropharynx)

Lung cancer

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


  • Hodgkin’s disease
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Plasmacytoma (multiple myeloma)

Prostate cancer


  • Osteosarcoma
  • Chondrosarcoma
  • Chordoma
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Ewing’s Sarcoma

Testicular cancer

  • Testicular seminoma
  • Nonseminoma testicular cancer

Recurrent or secondary cancer (including select gynecologic cancers)

Pediatric cancers

  • Astrocytoma and other gliomas, including optic pathway/hypothalamic glioma, oligodendroglioma, oligoastrocytoma, anaplastic astrocytoma
  • Atypical teratoid/Rhabdoid tumors
  • Craniopharyngioma
  • Ependymoma
  • Medulloblastoma
  • Pineoblastoma
  • Intracranial germ cell tumors (germinoma)
  • Meningioma
  • Retinoblastoma
  • Nasopharyngeal carcinoma
  • Juvenile angiofibromas
  • Lymphoma
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Neurofibroma
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Ewing’s sarcoma/Primitive neuro-ectodermal tumor (PNET)
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Desmoid tumor
  • Histiocytosis X