Radiation Oncology


Proton Therapy The Penn Difference

Penn Radiation Oncology is a national leader in clinical care, research and education. The state-of-the-art outpatient facility, located in the Ruth and Raymond Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine includes:

  • 47,500 square feet of clinical space
  • 5 linear accelerators
  • 3 CT simulators
  • 1 PET/CT simulator
  • 1 MRI simulator
  • 12 exam rooms
  • The Roberts Proton Therapy Center

Penn Radiation Oncology:

  • Is one of the largest and most respected clinical services in the region
  • Offers a wide range of radiation therapy services, including many that combine radiation therapy with chemotherapy and/or surgery
  • Uses the latest technology available to treat many types of cancer, from the most common to the most complex
  • Is a leader in radiation therapy research to discover the cancer treatments of tomorrow

Expanding New Research Frontiers

Apart from its primary mission of saving lives, the Roberts Proton Therapy Center has another purpose: improving the treatment of cancer and advancing medical science through research. Since proton therapy is still a relatively new technique, its true potential and promise have yet to be fully explored.

The Roberts Center is at the forefront of those explorations, serving as a leader in clinical trials that provide new protocols to ultimately increase and enhance the effectiveness of proton therapy, and determine which cancers should be treated with protons versus conventional radiation.

Each patient who comes to Penn Medicine will be asked to be part of this research as clinicians work toward spreading their new knowledge to help patients across the world.

A Never-Ending Quest for New Knowledge

The physicians, scientists, therapists, nurses, and other staff of the Roberts Proton Therapy Center have graduated from top academic institutions and have all reached the highest level of professional expertise in their fields. But that doesn't mean that they've stopped learning. On the contrary, they know that there's always more to study, more to learn: new knowledge that will translate directly into better care for patients. An enormous amount of preparation and training has gone into this facility.

Collaborations for the Future

No facility as complex and as sophisticated as the Roberts Proton Therapy Center exists in a vacuum — it's part of a network of other institutions and organizations all over the world that share common goals and purposes. The Roberts Center has forged alliances with a number of other entities, both to fight cancer and to expand knowledge.

Two of these partnerships are dedicated directly to treating patients. The Roberts Center is closely tied to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to improve the treatment of children with cancer and conduct clinical studies to help physicians better understand pediatric cancers and to develop new treatments.

Another partnership, with the U.S. Department of Defense, which has provided significant development support for the Roberts Proton Therapy Center, and the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Medical Center benefits active duty U.S. military members and their families, who might otherwise have difficulty getting access to the unique benefits of proton therapy.

The center's cyclotron and beamline also provide a vital resource for research in other aspects of biology and physics. A special research room at the Roberts Center is dedicated to pure scientific research, in collaboration with several government agencies and other academic institutions.

Perhaps the most unexpected ally of the Roberts Center is NASA. The space agency is concerned about cosmic radiation hazards for astronauts on long-duration spaceflights to Mars and beyond. Scientists working at Penn are able to use the facilities to simulate and study the radiological hazards that future space travelers will face.