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Pencil beam scanning proton therapy: The Proton Therapy Center pioneered pencil beam proton therapy treatment and currently is the only center in the United States and one of only three clinical centers in the world using this technology to treat patients.
with proton therapy had prostate cancer and started treatment in 2006.
Since then we have treated thousands of men who have prostate cancer with proton therapy.
Typical tumors require between 1,000 to 2,000 separate spots arranged in approximately 20 to 30 layers for a single pencil beam treatment.Though highly effective, pencil beam proton therapy treatment takes only a few minutes to deliver.Unlike treatment with conventional X-ray therapy (which may require 8 beam angles), treatment with proton therapy can be achieved using just two beams.Patients who come to MD Anderson's Proton Therapy Center may be treated with pencil beam scanning proton therapy, also called spot-scanning, which is an even more advanced type of proton therapy.
Pencil beam proton therapy delivers a single, narrow proton beam (which may be less than a millimeter in diameter) that is magnetically swept across the tumor, depositing the radiation dose like a painter’s brush strokes, without the need to construct beam shaping devices.Using rapidly fired pulses, the pencil beam hits each planned spot within the tumor with the prescribed amount of radiation, starting at the deepest layer and working in succession, layer by layer, until the whole tumor is covered.