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What is Proton Therapy?

Proton therapy is one of the promising therapeutic methods against cancer. A proton beam is obtained by accelerating the proton, the atomic nucleus of hydrogen, to high energy level. One of the features of proton therapy is the optimal dose distribution in the human body. Proton beam's Bragg Peak makes this radiation very effective for the targeted irradiation of the tumor with lower side effects to surrounding healthy tissues. Unlike surgical procedures, this is a gentle and noninvasive treatment that allows patients to be treated as outpatients and the quality of life (QOL) can be kept. For this reason, proton therapy is attracting attention around the world.
Proton therapy is reported to be adopted for the treatment of cancer in head/neck, lung, liver, esophagus, pancreas, pediatric, prostate, etc. from existing facilities in the world.

Bragg Peak
Comparison of dose distributions between X-ray therapy (left) and proton therapy (right)
Treatment Room at Aizawa Hospital (Matsumoto, Japan)

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