Roberts Proton Therapy Center

The Roberts Proton Therapy Center is the largest and most advanced facility in the world for this precise form of cancer radiation. Here, you have access to one of science's most sophisticated weapons against cancer, seamlessly integrated with a full range of oncology services at Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center.

What is Proton Therapy?

Proton therapy is external beam radiotherapy in which protons are directed at a tumor. The radiation dose that is given through protons is very precise, and limits the exposure of normal tissues. This allows the radiation dose delivered to the tumor to be increased beyond conventional radiation. The result is a better chance for curing cancer with fewer harmful side effects.

Proton therapy, like all forms of radiation therapy, works by aiming the energized particles, in this case protons, directly onto the tumor. These particles damage the DNA of cells, ultimately causing their death.

Unlike X-rays, protons can be manipulated to release most of their energy only when they reach their targeted tumor. With more energy reaching the cancerous cells, more damage is delivered with each burst of radiation.