Roberts Proton Therapy Center

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.

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.

Conditions Treated by Proton Therapy

Proton therapy is used for a variety of cancer types, and at Penn Medicine we are constantly working to expand the list of conditions treated with proton therapy.

Some of the cancers treated with proton therapy are:

Proton therapy is also a potential treatment option for cancer that cannot be completely removed by surgery, as well as recurrent cancer.

Before starting treatment for cancer, you will meet with your team of experts who are national leaders in your cancer type. Together, they will work with you to determine your best treatment options. They may determine that proton therapy is not the best option for your type of cancer, or that it should be used in conjunction with one or more therapies, such as chemotherapy, surgery or conventional radiation therapy.

Why Penn's Roberts Proton Therapy Center Is Different

  • The Roberts Proton Therapy Center is the largest, most advanced facility of its kind in the world, and the only proton therapy center that is fully integrated with a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated comprehensive cancer center.
  • Penn Medicine has been ranked the region's #1 cancer program by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Cancer care at the Abramson Cancer Center and the Roberts Proton Therapy Center offers patients comprehensive treatment services backed by the University of Pennsylvania Health System.
  • Your personal cancer treatment plans are created by a world-renowned team of experts dedicated to providing you multidisciplinary cancer care.
  • Because every type of cancer treatment, as well as comprehensive medical care and support services, is available right at Penn's world-renowned Abramson Cancer Center, you'll be able to see all your doctors and learn about all your options in one location.
  • Your dedicated team of experts may include: Dietitians, dosimetrists, integrative medicine physicians, medical oncologists, nurses, patient navigation specialists, radiation oncologists, radiation therapists, social workers and surgeons.

More About the Center

The Roberts Proton Therapy Center has the most advanced options available for patient positioning and comfort. It is made up of five treatment rooms that contain four gantries (90-ton rotational machines) designed to deliver therapeutic proton beams at the precise angle prescribed by the physician. There is also a room with a fixed-beam, as well as a room designated for research.

Unlike freestanding proton therapy facilities, this center is within Penn's Radiation Oncology department, which offers patients all types of radiation therapy options — as well as access to the latest clinical trials.

About 75,000-square feet in size, the Roberts Proton Therapy Center is located in a building connected to the Ruth and Raymond Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine. As many as 200 patients can be treated each day, making the Roberts Proton Therapy Center the largest such center in the world.

The Roberts Proton Therapy Center is equipped by the Ion Beam Application, S.A. (IBA) company based in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, and cost approximately $140 million. The building was designed by Tsoi, Kobus and Associates.